Pediatrician Danny Kim: "His Patients are His Kids"
Cook Children's community rallies to help Dr. Kim, who is in need of a blood stem cell transplant
By Kaley Johnson
Danny Kim, M.D., has spent his career taking care of others. Last week, Cook Children’s gathered over two days to help take care of him.
Dr. Kim, a 57-year-old pediatrician, was diagnosed with severe leukemia and urgently needs a blood stem cell transplant. Cook Children’s partnered with Be The Match, which connects donors with recipients in need, to raise awareness and possible matches for Dr. Kim.
Dr. Kim has been a board-certified pediatrician in the Dallas area for 26 years and recently moved his practice to Cook Children’s. He is a Fellow of the American Academy of Pediatrics and a Diplomate of the American Board of Pediatrics.
Taylor Pak, Dr. Kim’s niece, described her uncle as a jokester who is joyful, fun-loving and dedicated to his family and patients. Dr. Kim also has an impressive fish collection, Pak said, and loves food, especially if he’s sharing it with family.
“Our Uncle Danny is someone we have been able to count on through anything,” she said.
Since his diagnosis, the family has been to multiple churches and events to encourage people to register with Be the Match. While he needs a donor, Dr. Kim has mostly focused on how the match program can save others’ lives, Pak said.
“My uncle wanted us to not exclude anyone,” Pak said. “He has shared with us that he wants us to really focus not just on him. He is definitely an angel.”
Dr. Kim’s professional partner of 25 years, Monica Herrera, M.D., said he gives so much of himself to his practice and dedicated time to make sure his patients and their feel reassured and cared for. He does not simply see patients and forget about them, Dr. Herrera said, and instead treats them like family.
“He’s part of their lives,” she said. “This is devastating to them.”
As a coworker and friend, Dr. Herrera said Dr. Kim has always been there for her and others. He supported her when she had to balance a newborn and work, and he is always there for patients no matter the hour.
“He never had any kids of his own - his patients are his kids,” she said. “They are the love of his life, and of course his wife. But those kids, that’s what makes him so happy, whether it’s a teenager who needs to talk or a mom who has been up all night who needs support because her baby has been crying. He’s always there for his patients. That’s what fulfills him.”
Dr. Herrera said Dr. Kim was happy to join Cook Children’s, and has been impressed and appreciative of the support he’s had here.
“We have to be strong and continue to be positive,” she said.
For those that missed the swab events and want to join the Be The Match donor registry, complete the digital form here or text Swab4Kim to 61474. Then, order your swab kit for free online or give samples at any donor registration drive.
You can join the donor registry if you are:
- 18-40 years old
- In good health
- Willing to donate to any patient in need