Kati Kim and story of James Kim

On ’20/20′ Friday night, ABC brought you the dramatic story of the Kim family. They are the Bay Area parents who got lost in a blizzard in Oregon with their two young children after taking a wrong turn.
Even with the tragic death of James Kim, the family expressed gratitude for the efforts of search and rescue volunteers. Those volunteers often give up a lot of their own time to save lives.
A nighttime search and rescue training mission is proof that passion has nothing to do with pay.
“We have to practice and we train in all times of day, night, weather because that’s when we have to do our work” – said search and rescue volunteer Jackie Tubis.
Across the state some 1.000 search and rescue volunteers often hone their skills after putting in time at their day jobs.
“The people on this team range from sheet metal workers to teachers to EMTs and paramedics, to CEOs” – said search and rescue volunteer director Jeff Thomas.
Santa Clara County’s Search and Rescue Team has 56 volunteers. Retired high tech employee Jim Cole has been part of the unit for nearly two decades.
“I do it for the people. There is no pay involved in it, just flat out for the people. I love helping people” – said Cole.

Kati Kim and story of James Kim
Kati Kim and James Kim.

Kati Kim was on ’20/20′ Friday night, giving the details of her family ordeal after she and her husband James, along with their children, were stranded in a snow storm in 2006. In a 20/20 special, Kati Kim told her story, five years after the tragedy.
Kati Kim’s story of survival as well as the tragic death of husband James Kim is just heartbreaking!
On November 17, 2006 Kati and James Kim, along with their two young daughters Sabine and Penelope went on a trip that turned into a nightmare. The family left San Francisco for a weekend road trip but after a series of wrong turns. The Kim family got lost in the Oregon wilderness.
After getting lost and the snow started coming down, the Kims parked their car and ate their remaining packed food. After seven nights stuck in the wilderness, in deep snow, the family had lost all hope. Their gas was gone and the food ran out. Kati started breastfeeding Sabine and Penelope to keep them alive.
After seven days, James agreed to leave the car and start hiking for help. James died while trying to find help for his family and Kati and the children would be rescued safely.

Kati Kim was a 21-year-old student in Seattle when she met James Kim, 26.
“I took a road trip to Northern California with some college friends and it was then that I met James” – she said. “He was the cutest thing I’d ever seen in my entire life. We got matching tattoos and that was pretty much how we met. We were inseparable after that.”
The couple married in Las Vegas in 1999 and later had two daughters.
Michael Burke, a friend, said they were very happy.
“They were always looking to do something better, to be something better” – he said. “They had dreams. They had lots of big dreams, and they were very proactive in making those dreams come true.”
James Kim worked as a technology reporter for CNET while Kati Kim managed two small shops in San Francisco. For family vacations, the Kims liked to hit the road.
“We were always going on road trips with the girls” – Kati Kim said. “We tried to just include them in everything that we did.”

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