A DERBY teenager who lost her job and her home after being diagnosed with fluid on the brain has thanked a city charity for helping her to rebuild her life, saying she ‘wouldn’t be here’ without them.
Kimberley Leask was just 19 years old when she was rushed to hospital in an ambulance after collapsing on a pavement in the city centre.
Following investigations, including an MRI scan, Kimberley was diagnosed with excess fluid on her brain, which caused dizziness and nausea, forcing her to give up her job as a waitress.
In turn this meant she had to move out of home, leaving Kimberley without a roof over her head or an income to provide food or shelter.
So, Kimberley turned to staff at Enthusiasm Trust, in Cotton Lane, an organisation which supports young people from deprived areas, who took her in and looked after her.
Kim, who is now 20, said: “After my first MRI scan the doctors told me they had found something, which they thought was a cyst, and I had to wait for a specialist to see me to find out more.
“I couldn’t work because I had to carry plates of food and I was too dizzy, so I had to give up my job. Then I had to move out of home, so I was absolutely at rock bottom.
“I had been coming to Enthusiasm for dance classes and youth club since I was 12 years old and I have been volunteering for the charity for quite a few years, so they felt like my family.
“The staff at Enthusiasm just took me under their wing – they went to my house to pick up my belongings, they took me to my hospital appointments and just looked after me. I honestly don’t think I would be here without them.”
Kimberley, who used to attend Merrill Academy, now known as Alvaston Moor Academy, has recently been given the all-clear from the brain condition following treatment and another MRI scan.
She has moved into a shared council flat in Normanton and is looking for work as she continues to rebuild her life.
She added: “Some of the staff at Enthusiasm helped me fill in the forms for benefits and they went with me to the council to organise a flat for me.
“They helped me move in and gave me supply parcels with everyday essentials in it like toilet paper and food. I am starting to get back on my feet now, but it’s been an incredibly tough six months.
“I can never repay Enthusiasm enough for the help they have given me. They never made me feel like a burden, even though I knew these people had their own lives to lead.
“I will always come here to volunteer – I need to give something back. And my greatest wish is that every young person who needs help had access to somewhere like Enthusiasm. They literally saved my life.”