Remembering Kim Fredrickson, a PF warrior I met through her writing

Honoring Kim's memory four years after her passing

Samuel Kirton avatar

by Samuel Kirton |

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My name is Sam, and I read a lot. I enjoy reading. I’m not asking for help or seeking an intervention.

I read a wide variety of material and have favorites across many different genres. In the fiction category, I enjoy the Mitch Rapp series, originally by Vince Flynn. In nonfiction, I became a fan of Robert Fulghum. In the technical category, I enjoy educational publications from the American Radio Relay League. In the food category, I like almost any cookbook. But I also read a lesser-known genre: pulmonary fibrosis (PF).

In the PF category, Kim Fredrickson quickly became a favorite for me. I discovered Kim’s writing in social media groups and ultimately here at Pulmonary Fibrosis News. What drew me to her writing? Kim wrote like she was talking to a friend.

Relatable and candid

When I was diagnosed with idiopathic pulmonary fibrosis (IPF) in January 2017, my wife, Susan, and I had a lot of questions. The Pulmonary Fibrosis Foundation provided reliable information for patients, but I soon discovered several social media groups and recall seeing Kim’s name regularly.

Kim wrote frequently for her column, “Just Breathe…Compassionate Help for the PF Journey.” Her first one, “Be a Good Friend to Yourself,” was published on Oct. 6, 2016, and set the tone for her writing. Kim wanted to engage with her readers, as well as anyone she “met” on social media.

She published her last column on Feb. 5, 2019.

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Remembering Those PF Warriors Who Have Gone Before Us


In her professional life, Kim was a licensed marriage and family therapist. She understood the art of communicating and the value that collaboration could bring to a relationship.

An author in her own right, she also decided to collaborate on a book with Noah Greenspan, the founder and program director of the Pulmonary Wellness & Rehabilitation Complex in New York City. Unfortunately, Kim passed away on June 3, 2019, before the book was able to come to fruition. She had spent four months in the intensive care unit at the University of California, San Francisco awaiting a lung transplant.

In an article published on Pulmonary Fibrosis News just days after her death, Greenspan shares about the beginning of their collaboration:

“Even though Kim had her back to the wall, she never gave up, she never stopped trying, she never lost hope, she never lost faith in her God, and she never lost the belief that she would get lungs. And despite all of that, Kim was an incredibly selfless individual, who was able to step outside herself and still put others first, and think about what she can do for the world and what she can do for each and every one of us.”


I asked Brad Dell, director of community content here at BioNews, the parent company of Pulmonary Fibrosis News, to share a memory of Kim. He said:

“I worked with Kim for about a year, and met her in person for the first time just a few days before her passing. She was in the ICU, with a trach and unable to speak. Kim seemed unfazed by me meeting her in a deeply vulnerable state, and made me feel as though I was the one being served rather than vice versa. On a notepad she wrote compassionate, deep questions and patiently listened as I poured out my heart to her. How does one minister to others even in their last moments? It takes a special kind of person, and she was one.”

That quality came through in all she touched and wrote. In a column Brad wrote about his visit with Kim, he not only conveyed the emotion he felt but also demonstrated Kim’s warrior spirit.

Remembering Kim

I never met Kim in person. I only knew her through her writing, social media interactions, and how others revered her goodness. When I proposed writing this column, my goal was to honor Kim and perhaps introduce her to those new to PF. I looked back at her Facebook page and noted that we share five mutual friends. Sadly, two of them have passed from this disease or related complications following a lung transplant.

People still find her Pulmonary Fibrosis News columns today. They leave comments, seemingly unaware that she’s passed. With permission, I respond to those comments. Anyone reading her words and reaching out needs a reply.

I selected the words I used in the subheadings here carefully, as they tell the story of who Kim really was. She was truly a relatable, candid, collaborative, and compassionate PF warrior. Remembering Kim is one way I can make every breath count.

Note: Pulmonary Fibrosis News is strictly a news and information website about the disease. It does not provide medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment. This content is not intended to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment. Always seek the advice of your physician or other qualified health provider with any questions you may have regarding a medical condition. Never disregard professional medical advice or delay in seeking it because of something you have read on this website. The opinions expressed in this column are not those of Pulmonary Fibrosis News or its parent company, BioNews, and are intended to spark discussion about issues pertaining to pulmonary fibrosis.


Taleena Koch avatar

Taleena Koch

Kim was a power! She was so compassionate and helpful in our community and is missed. I met Kim through my support group and she left her hand print on my heart. I truly can not say enough to honor this wonderful lady. I've not met many like her. Much like my own mom, Kim put others before herself. She gave compassion and hope to so many, while living with this horrific disease. She taught so many in our community how to advocate for themselves or their loved ones. She showed through her own self-advocacy just how it was done. She truly changed lives. Thank you so much for honoring here in your column. I know she is smiling down on you - on all our PF community. While she may be gone from this Earthly world, she is alive in the hearts of so many.

Samuel Kirton avatar

Samuel Kirton

Thanks for reading my column and sharing your thoughts on Kim. She continues to live on through her writing.

Sam ...

Noah Greenspan avatar

Noah Greenspan

Hi, Sam. Thank you for this moving tribute to a friend. One thing I did want to mention is that the book was completed in Kim’s honor with a group of 9 PF patients. It is called Guide to Pulmonary Fibrosis and ILD’s.

Samuel Kirton avatar

Samuel Kirton

Thanks for reading my column and for sharing the title of the book completed in Kim's honor.

Sam ...

Christie Patient avatar

Christie Patient

Thank you for this Sam. Beautiful tribute for our departed colleague. You're keping her alive through your words

Samuel Kirton avatar

Samuel Kirton


Thanks. Kim is not forgotten and this column was an opportunity to introduce those new to the IPF community to some of her writing.

Sam ...


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