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The Gift of Life

The Gift of Life

Their name is synonymous with both grief and strength. The Swank family in North Idaho has had their faith tested in ways most of us could never imagine. In 2009, they lost their 17-year old son Drew following a football injury.

Now, their faith is being tested again as Drew's older sister fights for her life.

The Swank house in North Idaho is one of those idyllic places. On a recent February day, covered in snow, bathed in sunlight and filled with love. For 43-year old Tara Swank, it has been a refuge in a storm of unthinkable grief.

"Watching my youngest brother and sisters go through the death of their brother has probably hurt me as much as just my own hurt of watching my brother die," said Tara.

Reminders of Drew are everywhere in their home - in smiling pictures, in grieving hearts.

"It's horrendous, really," said Drew's mom, Patti. "There's no word for the heartbreak. I'm still not over Drew."

Drew was just 17 when a football injury ended his life. The oldest of eight and a critical care nurse by trade, Tara helped hold her family together.

The first woman to lead an Idaho National Guard battalion

The first woman to lead an Idaho National Guard battalion

Idaho National Guard has it's first female battalion leader.  Major Kimberly R. Tschepen has become the first woman to lead an Idaho National Guard battalion; the 145th Brigade Support Battalion.

The battalion has 500 men and women in Lewiston, Orofino, Kamiah, Moscow, Bonners Ferry, Sandpoint and Post Falls.

Community rallies around teen with cancer

Community rallies around teen with cancer

This summer Levi Grant’s life consisted of playing football and basketball, hanging out with friends and catching episodes of The Big Bang Theory. In July that all changed when he was diagnosed with Osteosarcoma, a bone cancer. Now, Levi’s life is spent going back and forth between Spokane and Ione for treatments, but his hometown is making sure he doesn’t have to face his cancer alone.


“In July he just started limping,” said Levi’s mom, Michelle. “And then from there it was so fast.”

Decorate a virtual sweater for Toys for Tots

Decorate a virtual sweater for Toys for Tots

Avista has a fun and easy way for you to give back this holiday season. For every virtual Christmas sweater designed on their website, Avista will donate $1 to Toys for Tots up to $10,000.


So far 2,610 sweaters have been generated. The fun online craft only takes a few minutes to put together and can be as personal or goofy as you’d like. You can either upload your own photo or choose from fun characters like a snowman or bear. From there you pick your sweater and start decorating!

Nate Moats gets a much needed visit...

Nate Moats gets a much needed visit...

 

You probably all remember Nate Moats who was diagnosed earlier this year with ALS and has been on a crazy medical rollercoaster all year.
I was told that Nate, who usually never has visible down days, had a couple of bad weeks and was feeling low. People were asking if there was something I could do to cheer him up.