KANSAS CITY, Mo. — What began as a simple mole removal for a Kansas City man, has turned into the fight of his life. But in a matter of a few weeks, Tim Grimes now has a whole city behind him.
Twenty-eight-year-old Tim Grimes is a huge Kansas City Royals fan. If you were watching the game Thursday night, you might have seen a few guys holding up a sign for him. The sign said, ‘Tim is driving the bus against cancer’.
The term “driving the bus” is commonly used by Royals color commentator Rex Hudler when talking about someone who comes through when those around them need it most, this couldn’t be more true for Grimes.
“Monday they ran some tests and it came back, and it was worse than I thought. It had spread, so Monday was when I got the official diagnosis that its stage -4 melanoma that’s spreading,” said Grimes.
It all started a few weeks ago. Grimes got a mole removed in mid-August.
“When I first went in to get the mole removed they said, ‘oh, this is nothing, we’ve seen this before,'” Grimes recalled.
The mole came back the next week positive for melanoma. Doctors told him he had a year to a year-and-a-half to live, with a five percent success rate. It had already spread to his liver, lungs and spine.
“I was kind of like, ‘hold on, back up a second, what did you just say?'” Grimes said. “Did you just tell me there’s a timeline?”
Grimes said he felt fine, and had a hard time understanding what the doctor was telling him.
“It was definitely devastating and rough, but my friends didn’t really give me a chance to be upset,” added Grimes.
“We really just wanted to support him and make him feel loved,” said Tyler Martin, who has been friends with Grimes since the fifth grade. Martin says he was in denial at first, then decided he would help his best friend fight.
“I got diagnosed and was told there’s a small percent chance that I’d live, and my friends said, ‘no, we’re not going to let that happen, you’re going to survive,'” said Grimes.
Besides Grimes’ close friends, the Kansas City community, even complete strangers, have come together to help raise money, so Grimes — who is uninsured — can pay his medical bills.
“It’s starting to become a Kansas City thing,” Martin added.
“I wake up Tuesday morning and I have a fundraiser. I wake up after surgery on Wednesday are there’s @RoyalsWinForTim Twitter page,” said Grimes, “It makes me feel like a rock-star! It also makes me feel unworthy though.”
Grimes says like the Royals, there will be ups and downs, but as long as there are supporters and fans — he’ll continue his fight to win.
“Got to hold on to hope, they keep going along, and that’s what I’m going to keep doing,” says Grimes.
Grimes’ boss started a GoFundMe page for him and so far it has raised more than $19,000 as of this writing. Grimes says he’ll continue to fight, is getting more tests done, looking at chemotherapy options, and seeing specialists in the upcoming weeks. He already has Royals tickets for Sunday night’s game.