FINDLAY, OH (Toledo News Now) - As a Kindergarten teacher for 28 years, Kim Conkle made a positive impact on hundreds of students, parents and fellow teachers. Some of them will be participating in the Findlay Race for the Cure to remember their favorite teacher.
Kim battled breast cancer for eight years, and during that time, the faith, hope and selflessness she lived were lessons to everyone around her. Her legacy has been kept alive in her family, students and community.
"She was the best teacher," said Kim's daughter Ashley. "I actually remember getting upset when I was younger because I couldn't have her as a teacher."
When Kim was first diagnosed with breast cancer in 2006 and required grueling chemotherapy, it was not surprising to anyone that she handled it with courage and a smile.
"She just had the best attitude and it made it hard for us to have bad attitudes about it," her daughter Michaela said.
Her family says Kim did lament losing her hair, but she bought several hats and used her cancer experience as a teaching moment for everyone around her.
When the cancer came back a second, then third time, Kim knew her time on earth was running short. She made the most of every moment, creating lasting memories with her family.
One of those memories was participating in the very first Findlay Race for the Cure last September.
"I felt for mom last year," Ashley said. "It gave her that little bit of extra motivation to keep pushing because she saw how many people loved her."
Kim's husband Matt says she wasn't scared during her battle.
"Her faith – she knew where she was going to be," he said. "But she worried about us."
On March 2, 2014, Kim left her earthly body and left a hole in the Conkle family that will never be filled.
"I know she's in no more pain. I know she's where she's promised to be. I'll see her again," Matt said.
"You know, you just miss your mom," said Kim's daughter Emily Bowsher. "She wasn't just a mom, she was, like, everything."
Because she made such an impact on so many with her courage, faith and love, this year's Findlay Race for the Cure is named in memory of Kim Conkle.