History’s press release about the 7th season of Ax Men, premiering tonight, stated that there are gonna be a couple of Ax Women additions to the show. One of the new logging ladies is Katelyn Sims identified as “a knockout new member of the Dreadknots. She’s Kracken’s cousin and every bit as tough as the boys.”
After having done some research on Miss Sims I’m betting she’s tougher than the boys and I believe viewers are going to fall hard for her. Here’s what I was able to find out with my own version of redneck sonar!
The 23-year-old described herself this way via her recently setup Facebook fan page:
Katelyn is 23 years old brought up in the south. Born and raised a southern girl with a logging background. She’s as tough as the guys & she isn’t afraid to do a mans job. She’s strong in mind, body, & soul. She enjoys being outside and playing in the mud, fishing, dancing, & loves her friends & family.
What she didn’t mention is that after repeatedly getting ill at the age of 4 and then going through the process, along with her parents, of visiting 27 different doctors in just 2 years the Florida native was diagnosed with cystic fibrosis.
This is the part where I’m supposed to give you information about CF, but I think Katelyn can do that a heck of a lot better than I ever could. In the following clip posted by Santa Fe College last year as part of their Women of Promise series, Katelyn discusses the heartache she’s had to endure and the challenges she overcomes on a daily basis while living with this disease:
One particular part of her story from the video hit me hard as she pointedly explained the direct reason for why she wants to find a cure:
“In the same hospital, you grow up with the same kids who also have cystic fibrosis. There was a group that I specifically got close to and we became kind of like a family in the hospital together. We understood each other and we knew what it was like to be around each other. In 2009, within a 2-year-span, they all died. It’s important for me to find a cure for CF because it’s not so much that I want it, but it’s that the kids who are born years from now won’t have to worry about making friends and losing them.”
Katelyn was profiled in a November 2011 article with the Independent Florida Alligator, and the piece is further testimony to her courage, active lifestyle and the fact that she hasn’t got time for anybody’s crap, even if that person happens to be one of her caretakers.
At the time she taught country line dancing fitness classes at the University of Florida Student Recreation and Fitness Center and interned for Ted Yoho, a political candidate running for U.S. Congress.
Her mom Leisa Sims estimated that Katelyn had spent nearly 3 years of her life inside hospitals. She had to miss 91 days of her senior year in high school due to health problems stemming from CF. She shared a humorous story about one of those visits with IFA.
While at the hospital, Sims has her own schedule preferring to stay up at night and sleep through the day. A doctor came by to check on her at 5:45 AM. Sims told him to come back later. He came back at 6 AM and she told him to scram again. When that same doctor tried to visit her room too early again a couple of days later she flung a coke can at him! “I warned him twice,” she said.
As she indicated in the video above, Sims has given many speeches about CF, including one to a crowd of over 3,000 at a tailgate before a Jacksonville Jaguars football game and she helped organize a Great Strides walk, a Cystic Fibrosis Foundation fundraising program.
On a September 3rd post via Facebook Katelyn wrote, “This year has been a crazy ride and an awesome year full of opportunities and many more to come! I am blessed, yet so thankful.”
To keep up with the latest on Katelyn Sims from Ax Men you can check out her official Twitter here. And just because Katelyn is all about kicking CF to the curb, I encourage you to visit the Cystic Fibrosis Foundation website to educate yourself and learn how you can help.
Oh yeah, don’t forget to catch Miss Sims and the rest of the Ax Men (and Women) tonight on the History channel at 9/8c.