A Kaysville woman who chronicled her six-year battle with cancer for thousands of Instagram followers — and counted rock star Dan Reynolds and “The Bachelor” host Chris Harrison among her friends and supporters — has died.
Kimberly Lynn White, known to many by her Instagram handle @kimcankickit, died Friday, Valentine’s Day, according to her and her husband’s Instagram accounts. She was 32.
“Kim didn’t just battle cancer, she documented and shared it with the entire world,” her husband, Treagan White, a dentist with a practice in Centerville, wrote on his companion Instagram account, @heyurkimshusband. “Every sacred moment was gifted to strangers who were searching to overcome their own loneliness and pain.”
In March 2014, White was diagnosed with adrenocortical carcinoma, a rare and aggressive form of cancer that forms on the outer layer of the adrenal gland. White lost her baby boy 18 weeks into her pregnancy. (White had suffered an earlier miscarriage, on the day Treagan graduated from dental school.) Though Kim was told she would have two or three months to live, she survived for nearly six years.
White’s Instagram account, up till then filled with photos of vacation trips and her daughter Hensleigh’s babyhood, became a photo diary of chemotherapy sessions, hospital stays and more than 50 surgeries. As of this week, her account had 124,000 followers.
“Most couldn’t tell she was ill or that she was in terrible pain because she shunned the negative and strived to emit only positivity, light and happiness,” her husband posted on his account Monday.
Reynolds, the frontman for the band Imagine Dragons, became an early champion. He performed a solo acoustic show in July 2014 to raise money to defray her medical bills. The following February, White was backstage at Ellen DeGeneres’ talk show when Imagine Dragons performed.
In an Instagram post Friday, Reynolds said, “today the world lost the strongest person I know. … I hope you are smiling somewhere on a snowboard — carving through the heavens.”
On the same trip to Hollywood to see Imagine Dragons, White met Harrison, the host of “The Bachelor” reality-show franchise. White peppered Harrison with questions about the show, and the two became friends.
Harrison, in a post on his Instagram account Friday, paid tribute to White. He described how when they met, and she told him about her cancer diagnosis, “I told her that year if she was healthy enough, I’d like to have her as my guest at the ‘After the Final Rose’ special,” referring to the live episode that ends every season of “The Bachelor” and “The Bachelorette.”
“She made it that year, and I told her that as long as she had the strength, from then on, she had a seat in the front row,” Harrison wrote, adding that White “made it to every live special I’ve hosted since, and a friendship and love was formed that changed my life.”
Born on Dec. 8, 1987, Kimberly Lynn Olsen was attending the University of Iowa — she earned a bachelor’s degree in health coaching, after a knee injury ended her college soccer career — when she met Treagan White, who was in his second year of dental school. They were married in 2009, and their daughter, Hensleigh, was born in 2012, not long before the family moved to Utah.
Kimberly Lynn White is survived by her husband, Treagan, and their daughter, Hensleigh; her parents, Gary L. and Jane Olsen; and five siblings: Nick (Chelsea), Ashlee, Mike, Jenny (Dex) and Morgan (Derek).
A “celebration of life” dance party will take place Friday, Feb. 21, from 6 to 9 p.m.; the location, somewhere in Davis County, will be announced on Kim’s and Treagan’s Instagram accounts.
Funeral services will be held Saturday, Feb. 22, at 1 p.m., at the Bountiful Regional Center, 835 N. 400 East, North Salt Lake. Interment will be at the Providence City Cemetery.
In lieu of flowers, the family asks for donations to Kim’s Venmo account, @kimcankickit. Proceeds will go to finish a documentary about Kim on the site stiry.com, and the rest will go to the nonprofit group Lifted by Angels.