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'Just fell on hard times'

| December 19, 2010 8:00 PM

It has been more than a year since the automobile accident that changed this woman's life.

She was living out of state at the time. While driving down the highway, a vehicle crossed into her lane, colliding with her truck.

"I was twirling all over the freeway, hit the metal divider, twirled counter clockwise, traveled up the road and hit the center divider," she told Press Christmas for All.

She was bleeding profusely from her head, had a cracked hip and leg.

"The road rage driver left me for dead. I thought I was," she said.

Her pickup was totaled, and she ended up in an intensive care unit in a coma.

While she was in the hospital, they discovered she had thyroid cancer.

She underwent chemotherapy and radiation, and returned to Idaho to live with her sister, a fragile diabetic who cannot work.

"It has been very hard being sick, alone and desperate, not knowing what to do or where to go," she said. "We have worked hard all our lives, and just fell on hard times."

With our readers' assistance, Press Christmas for All works to brighten the holidays for folks like this - people left jobless, homeless or who are barely making ends meet, individuals with disabilities or illnesses. Many are alone this holiday season.

Last year our generous readers' donations allowed us to assist thousands of families in need, and this year we expect to be asked for help from far more.

Each day until Christmas, we will share with you the stories of those whose holiday memories will be a little happier because of Press Christmas for All.

Donations are collected, then distributed in the form of gift cards to Kootenai County residents in need.

Press Christmas for All is a holiday charity now in its 25th year. It is managed as a nonprofit by The Hagadone Corp. Because it is run by volunteers from The Hagadone Corp. and their partners at Kootenai County Fire and Rescue, every penny raised is distributed in the form of gift cards to Shopko and to Super 1 Food Stores. Contributions are tax deductible to the fullest extent of the law. The cards can be used to buy food and gifts but not alcohol or tobacco products.

To donate, please send a check to:

Press Christmas for All

201 Second St.

Coeur d'Alene, ID 83814

You can also call (208) 664-8176 weekdays between 8 a.m. and 5 p.m. and donate by credit card.

Recent donors include:

Pauline Adams; Anonymous; Barry & Joyce Bergen; Michael & Virginia Bernardo; Ralph Bledsoe; Jason Boni; Robert & Jeanette Branson; Tim & Ev Burns, Dave & Ben Chambers, Tom & Jill Neal, & Geof & Crystal Emry; Rose Burnham "In memory of my husband Walt Burnham"; William & Sharon Carlson; The Childers Family; Grant & Helen Corey; David Family; Brendal Dippel; The Douglas Family; William & Donna Faris; Vivian Fisher; Joy Geuin; Kris & Larry Gibbon; Terry & Karen Groswith; M.R. & Nola Hawley; Hendricks Design; Patty Humphery & Mark Baxter; Stephanie Hunter; Donna & Pat Hurrell "In Memory of Bill Custer & Dan Hurrell"; Anonymous; Amy Jacoby "In memory of my husband Leo"; Franklin & Shirley James; Travis & Cherry Jones; Anonymous; Ralph & Lavonne Kerr; "In Memory of Ryan Knapp"; The Kroan Family; Douglas Magnuson; Diana & Greg Mills.

Goal: $200,000

RAISED SO FAR: $140,707.71

DEADLINE: Christmas Eve

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