Mrs. Kimberly Rae Kim
October 23, 1976 – December 1, 2016
Kimberly grew up in a military family that lived all over the world. While her family lived in Augusta, Georgia, during her high school years she began dating her future husband, Jin H. Kim. Kimberly attended the Georgia Institute of Technology, where she pledged Phi Mu Fraternity, joined GT’s club soccer team and became involved in the Cooperative Program and worked for Lotus Development and Georgia Tech Research Institute. She graduated in 1999 with a Bachelor’s of Science in Computer Science with highest honor.
After graduation, Kimberly worked with Radiant Systems as a technical consultant and a software developer. When her company split, she went to work with BlueCube Software.
After dating for eleven years (a period that spanned throughout high school, her senior year move to Springfield, VA, her freshman year at James Madison, and her transfer to the Georgia Tech), Jin and Kimberly married on February 2, 2002. Four years later, mid-way through her first pregnancy, Kimberly began having problems typing at work. These issues were dismissed as a pregnancy related, and Jin and Kimberly happily welcomed the birth of their healthy son, Luke on June 8, 2006. Kimberly waited until Luke was two weeks old before seeing a doctor regarding the weakness in her left hand which made nursing Luke impossible. By October, after consulting several specialists, she was officially diagnosed with Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis (also known as Lou Gehrig’s disease).
Kimberly and Jin made the painful decision to forego having another child and immediately filed with the FDA to participate in an independent study for an experimental drug. As a direct result of her experiences, she dedicated her time to assist other ALS patients and their families. Using her computer science background and her understanding of the importance of communicating effectively and efficiently, Kimberly founded and operated the Kimberly Kim Foundation, Inc. As part of her outreach, Kimberly often spoke candidly of her experiences with newly diagnosed ALS patients. After her diagnosis, Kimberly’s philanthropic accomplishments include the Foundation’s the Assisted Communications Technology Grant, which grants technology to newly diagnosed ALS patients that allows them to communicate with others; working with the GT Brain Department on an experimental computer platform that allows the user to control a computer with his/her thoughts; writing and publishing Dancing the ABC’s, a book that was written as a legacy for Luke, the proceeds of which are donated to the Foundation so that she can continue to assist other ALS patients. As time progressed and daily life became a constant struggle, Kimberly’s unwavering focus was on Luke and assisting other ALS patients in any way that she could.
She has been surrounded by an extraordinary care team, who loved her and sacrificed to make sure that Kimberly was the center of the household and could continue to manage Luke’s wellbeing and growth. The love and support from Kimberly’s family and friends over the past 11 years has been uplifting and overwhelming.
Kimberly is survived by: her loving husband Jin and son Luke, puppies Izzy and Ginger, and members of the Blonde Mafia, Abigail Smith and Jessica Miller; father, Col. (ret. US Army) Michael Barron, mother, Sharon Barron; brother, Mark Barron, twin sister, Kathleen Givens, sister, Jenni Barron; and numerous nieces and nephews; mother-in-law, Hyun Sook Kim, and sister-in-law, Michele Kim and husband Ryan Babcock. Kimberly will always be remembered as a loving mother, wife, sister, friend and philanthropist. Her fight to help others surviving with ALS communicate continues through her Foundation. #kimkimfight!
- Visitation Saturday, December 10, 2016
- Celebration of Life Saturday, December 10, 2016
- Graveside Service Monday, December 12, 2016