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Focusing on open doors and new beginnings

Kimberly Branche, 944th Fighter Wing human resource technician, poses for a photo. Branche is still fighting her cancer in every way possible, but due to personal circumstances, has yet to start treatment for her illness.

Since her diagnosis with multiple myeloma in 2014, Kimberly Branche, 944th Fighter Wing human resource technician, has used her experience to recognize and act on new opportunities while helping other cancer survivors shift toward the positive possibilities in their own lives.

LUKE AIR FORCE BASE, Ariz. -- Since her diagnosis with multiple myeloma in 2014, Kimberly Branche, 944th Fighter Wing human resource technician, has used her experience to recognize and act on new opportunities while helping other cancer survivors shift toward the positive possibilities in their own lives.

Three years later, Branche is still fighting her cancer in every way possible, but due to personal circumstances, has yet to start treatment for her illness.

“I’ve become a lot more aware of what I’m putting into my body and I’ve even started my own company of all natural cosmetics to help others do the same,” said Branche. “Despite the obstacles I’ve encountered with my treatment, I’m not focusing on the closed doors, but the ones I can open.”

Branche has also been networking with other cancer survivors to trade knowledge, resources and encouragement to never give up. One of the best ways Branche has found to connect is through sharing her experience. This weekend she will be speaking on the local show, ‘Survivors Take A Real Stage,’ where she plans to share how her diagnosis has pushed her to make the most of her gifts and her time.

“When you have cancer, it’s so much easier to go to someone else who can relate than to feel like you’re consistently worrying your family and friends,” said Branche. “I wasn’t even sure I could connect with fellow survivors, because I haven’t had treatment and I still have cancer, but I’m still here. Despite being in between, I was encouraged to share my unique story, so my focus with this seminar and sharing is to inspire others struggling with their own illness. That there’s healing to be found in moving forward.”

Branche’s efforts to create a wellness movement reaches beyond fellow survivors and into her work in the military community.

“Not only has my job in the Air Force helped me to have the flexibility I need physically, but it’s given me a platform to host annual Department of Defense bone marrow drives,” she said. “It’s been a supportive work environment that I’m grateful for.”

For more information about the marrow donor program, visit www.salutetolife.org.