After graduating in 2002, Wilms enrolled in the California School of Podiatric Medicine, a four-year program in the Bay Area. She chose podiatry because of the flexibility it allowed. She figured that as a podiatric surgeon, she'd take fewer crisis calls in the middle of the night and have time to pursue other interests and perhaps have a family someday.

But first she had to do a three-year residency. Her top choice was a program in Colorado, a state she'd loved since taking a ski trip here years earlier. She got into the program at the North Colorado Medical Center in Greeley and moved here in 2006. "Basically, you slept, ate and worked," Wilms says of her residency. "You had no social life."

By the time she discovered derby, she was in the third year of her residency and hungry for a hobby. "I just needed an outlet," she says. "And roller derby is it."

After learning the basics, she chose a derby name — Kimmy Kimmy Bang Bang — and was drafted onto what was then one of the Dolls' two home teams: the Bad Apples. (The Denver Roller Dolls league has grown since then; there are now five home teams, two travel teams and a junior derby team for kids ages six to seventeen.)

As a doctor, Wilms is required to be on call from time to time. When derby practices coincide with her duties, she asks the coach to hold her pager. More than once, she's had to skate off the track, change into the extra pair of scrubs she keeps in her car and rush off to see a patient. "Once my teammates started figuring out what I did, I was presented with more medical questions and responsibilities with the team, and it's just kind of grown," Wilms says. "That's what's great about the roller-derby community. Everybody is so giving, and there's so much camaraderie. Everybody is so willing to help each other out."

It wasn't long before Wilms witnessed a true derby-related disaster. In 2009, the Dolls' then-newly founded junior-varsity travel team, Bruising Altitude, was in Greeley, which is known for its meatpacking plants. They were there to face the aptly named Slaughterhouse Derby Girls at their home track, nicknamed the Kill Floor. Wilms still knew people in the area because of her residency, and she invited one of the doctors who'd supervised her to watch.

It was a good thing for the home team that she did. In that single game, two of the Slaughterhouse girls broke their ankles and a third sprained her neck. Since there were no EMTs at the bout, Wilms and her guest stabilized their injuries.

"We didn't have good splinting materials with us," Wilms says. So they used what was on hand, fashioning makeshift splints out of ACE bandages and cardboard PBR boxes.

As it turned out, those wouldn't be the last broken ankles Wilms would see.

**********

The first skater who trusted Wilms to piece together her broken ankle wasn't hurt on the track.

In May 2011, Amanda "Aim N. Buster" Cleveland was nursing a knee injury she'd sustained during practice when a teammate hit her from behind and sent her hurtling into the track. The pain was bad enough that she wore a brace during the day, but not bad enough to convince her to see a doctor. The brace had an odd side effect, however: Whenever she got up after sitting for an extended period of time, she found that her entire leg had fallen asleep.

One day at work, Cleveland stood up in this condition and felt her ankle roll inward. It didn't hurt much at first, so she didn't see a doctor. But the next day, as she was walking down the stairs in her apartment, her ankle wavered and then snapped, sending Cleveland tumbling.

"It was really the weirdest sensation," she says. "I could feel my foot dangling."

Unable to stand, she used her cell phone to call 911 and then to call her roommate, who rushed home to unlock the door for the paramedics. Though Cleveland doesn't remember much more after that, her roommate later told her that her first question for them was, "Am I going to be able to skate?"

At the time, it didn't seem likely. The break was so gruesome that the ER doctor took one look at her crooked foot and asked if he could take a picture of it before temporarily putting it back into place. Cleveland agreed, on the condition that he send it to her afterward so she could post it on Facebook. Soon after she did, she got a call from Wilms, who'd seen the photo online. "She called me and she was like, 'You know, I could fix that,'" Cleveland recalls.

Cleveland had skated with Wilms in the Denver Roller Dolls, though at the time she broke her ankle she'd switched leagues and was skating with the Rocky Mountain Rollergirls, the other major league in the Denver area — and a fierce rival of the Roller Dolls.

Cleveland was already scheduled for surgery with a doctor she'd never met, and she says Wilms's offer was a welcome alternative. A week later, she became the first skater to go under Dr. Bang Bang's knife, at Lutheran Medical Center, which is one of the hospitals at which Wilms has privileges to perform surgery. "I just was so much more comfortable having her do it because she knew what my intentions were — and that was to be able to continue skating," Cleveland says. "She knew how important it was to me, because it's important to her, too."

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11 comments
lcomer51
lcomer51

Dr. Wilms treated my big toe injuries and was simply the most caring, compassionate and knowledgeable podiatrist.  I have diabetic feet issues, injured both feet while visiting here, and she actually made a house call and helped me right away.  She went above and beyond and even cut my shoe inserts to take pressure off the injured toes.   I just cannot thank her enough for her care and expertise in getting my feet on way to total recovery.


DonkeyHotay
DonkeyHotay topcommenter

 "chatted about the upcoming weekend's bout and joked about "boob tagging," a game whose rules are just what you'd imagine."

I wanna play!



Juan_Leg
Juan_Leg

I wouldn't trade a dozen 'Kim's' for my doctor and friend . Finding a GOOD doctor has cut my narcotic intake by more than in 1/2 !  She DOESN'T greet me w/ a prescription pad in hand . I won't mention her name out of courtesy but  more than likely, she has kept me alive for 15 yrs or so more, on this miserable planet . Just maybe I'll be around long enough to see everyone blow each other up w/ the 'Oh so feared', "WEAPONS OF MASS DESTRUCTION !!! ", I keep hearing about ......

kimberly.hathcock
kimberly.hathcock

Yayyyy Kimmy! So cool that you got the cover, love ya girl!!!

MOrde
MOrde

I have been under the knife of my teammate DR Kimmy Kimmy bang bang and she did go out of her way in trying to find the surgery less costly. I broke my Left ankle in roller derby as well. My doctor took care of me and even made house calls. Best doctor I have ever had. She is very compassionate, hard working doctor and an excellent skater.  You put me back together, so I could continue with skating but most importantly become a mortician. Love ya kimmy.

fishingblues
fishingblues topcommenter

Dr. Bang Bang?  I'm just going to leave it alone.  

DonkeyHotay
DonkeyHotay topcommenter

@fishingblues  ... makes me want to injure myself ...

Juan_Leg
Juan_Leg

@DonkeyHotay  

'Fish' is already permanently injured and out of commission in that 'spot' ...

He'd talk her to death w/ much of his senseless theories & beliefs .

' His plagiarism talents noted ......'  

 
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