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Kimby Maxson

Eugenean Kimby Maxson began to study midwifery while she was pregnant with her daughter Maraya. "I've been a midwife for 13 years now," she notes. "Maraya has been invited to a dozen births -- she can take care of the three-year-old." In 1998, Maxson had surgery for ovarian cancer. "Last June was five years for me," she marvels. "That means I beat it!" Since the operation, she has given birth to a second daughter, Jade, and added massage therapy to her practice. After a good friend died of breast cancer last February, Maxson turned her attention to complementary care for cancer patients. "Gail got massage, acupuncture, and nutritional help," she explains. "I believe it gave her a better quality of life." Within months, Maxson launched the Hearts and Hands Comfort Center, a resource to connect cancer patients with volunteer caregivers. (Call 343-0886 for details.) She currently logs 20 hours a week scheduling care and applying for non-profit status. "We have around 25 volunteers and eight patients," she reports. "We think that people should have everything available to improve their lives, regardless of their financial means."

happening people

photograph and story by Paul Neevel

Eugene Weekly / 15 January 2004

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