TEDxChilliwack April 2017

I am very excited at the opportunity to represent TEDxChilliwack 2017. TED events are widely reckognized and greatly respected, so the chance to be a part of something this special is certainly a dream come true for me. I just can't let my nerves get in the way, and I'm hoping that presenting at close to 80 speaking events with United Way last year has given me the confidence to face my fears. After all...fear is simply a state of mind, and once we realize this, we can learn to overcome. I will be pitching my talk to a panel of judges in late February, so I will keep you posted.   Wish me luck!

United Way

I only have one month left with my United Way Public Impact Speaker contract. I can't say enough how much I have loved working with this fantastic organization. It has been the most rewarding job I have ever had, aside from being a mom. We fund 28 Community Partners, 24 programs, and did you know, one out of every three people will required a service funded by the United way in the Fraser Valley last year! That adds up to over 76,000 people.   One of the reasons I was so excited to take this position was because I knew how rewarding it would be to support an organization whose support tremensously helped out my children. We just never know when crisis can touch our own life.....and there was no way I could have seen what was coming my way.   Up until 1998, my life was very easy and very blessed. I had a wonderful upbringing with loving parents, married  my kind and handsome husband… and at the time we were living in our lovely new home, raising our beautiful three year old daughter Jesse, and excited about the arrival of our second baby. Then, in a blink of an eye, everything changed. At birth, my son Avery was diagnosed with a critical heart defect  requiring multiple heart surgeries and spending many months in ICU. There were many days we wern't sure if he was going to make it through.    During Avery’s battle to live, my dad, and mentot, suddenly died of a heart attack, and shortly thereafter my daughter, Jesse, was diagnosed with Autism.   I felt like a tornado had lifted me up and landed me on another Planet! Never did I ever think about having to face such fears….but sometimes we just don’t have a choice.   Thankfully, after many challenging months,  Avery did survive. Despite all the other devastation, we were most grateful Avery lived. However, when reality set in, we realized we needed help. We weren’t near equipped to deal with the delays and support for two children with challenging needs. However, with some sourcing we were able to find services from organizations who gave Avery and Jesse the highest standards of therapies and education to help them thrive to the best of their ability. Jesse is 21 and attending a day program where she participates in activities and volunteers for many community services. Her favorite part of the week is delivering Meals on wheels to the seniors. Avery graduated with Honors this year, and won the Nelson Mandela Hardest Working Student Award, and is attending the University of the Fraser Valley’s Bachelor of arts program.   Giving back to my community and United Way has been the best experience. I encourage everyone I know to give a little time, money or effort into giving back...the feeling it brings will spread much joy on your path.

How the United Way helps: one family’s story

Kim and Avery GemmellYou just never know when you might need the type of help funded by the United Way Fraser Valley. Just ask Chilliwack’s Kim Gemmell (pictured here with her son, UFV student Avery Gemmell).

Their family benefited for many years from agencies and services partially funded by the United Way. Kim is an advocate for giving to support your community because she knows what it’s like to need help.

Read the complete article here PDF

Love where I live

I love living in the lower mainland! One day I am camping in the deep woods, sitting around a campfire with great friends and family, and then the next day I am getting dressed up to attend an event featuring David Chilton and Arlene Dickinson at the Vancouver Orpheum. There certainly is much to be thankful for when we live in beautiful British Columbia, and I encourage everyone to explore as much as you can. I have lived here all my life, and still look forward to many more new adventures!

On the Road Again

Well after feeling a little deflated and frustrated, I am renewed and ready to follow my dream. After all, my words to live by are; faith, persistence and desire, so I surely can't give up.

I've been told countless times that it is near impossible for a new author to make any serious market penetration, but I refused to believe this to be me. It has been two years since publication and through it all there have been times where I have felt like giving up, and have taken a little hiatus, but if I can't practise what I preach, what kind of role model would I be?

Something is to be said for determination, and that should have been my middle name. So after a little time off and feeling overwhelmed at the countless hours I have spent trying to market Bravery, I am coming back with a vengeance! My battery has recharged and I am using a new direction and approaches to marketing Bravery, along with my inspirational speaking.

The amazing feedback from readers has helped me believe this is a quest worth fighting for. Thank you everyone for all your support.

From the heart

After about 20 speaking engagements I decided to go ''off the cuff,'' and go on stage without my notes. I thought to myself... why not, you know your story, heck you wrote a book about it... why need a script to talk about it. Whenever I hear someone speak without any aids, it comes across more authentic.

I always get really nervous every time I'm about to speak, and I'm afraid I will choke, but I knew I had to give it a try; I wasn't going to get any more ready than I already was. After all, what's the worst that could happen???

To my surprise, my presentation went very well, and I believe it reached my audience on a more passionate level. I'm not sure if there is a moral to the story other than what my motto has always been since I can remember, ''you never know unless you try.


By email:


Phone: 604-819-5299

logo facebook 200  Follow Kim on Facebook!