Wednesday, April 24, 2024

CFA: Single mom starts new life

| December 1, 2020 1:06 AM

As part of the annual Press Christmas for All Campaign, we share with readers the stories of the people applying for help. Here’s one of them.

For “Sabrina,” the road to recovery has been a long one.

A single mom who served in the Air Force, she’s suffered from debilitating neck pain for years. The pain was so intense that she couldn’t work, drive or get badly needed dental work done because she physically couldn’t lie back in a chair.

One after another, surgeons told Sabrina nothing could be done about her pain. But she refused to give up. At last, she found a surgeon in Spokane who was willing to perform the risky surgery Sabrina needed.

“He was a life saver,” she said.

In June, Sabrina underwent an 11-hour operation. Almost six months later, she’s still in pain — but it’s less severe. She can drive again and she hopes that her pain will be reduced by half when she’s fully recovered.

“I’ll be grateful for anything,” she said.

Despite her pain, Sabrina took on another challenge. She went back to school full-time.

She’ll graduate in the spring from Lewis-Clark State College with a bachelor’s degree in business administration. Her goal is to work in accounting.

“It was a struggle, being in pain,” she said. “But as a single mom, you don’t have much of a choice.”

Sabrina’s sons, ages 10 and 15, are two big reasons for her to keep working toward her goals.

“They would do anything for me,” she said. “I couldn’t ask for better boys.”

At times, Sabrina has relied on local food banks to feed her family.

“The food bank has been life saving for me,” she said.

There was a time when she believed most people who received assistance didn’t want to be self sufficient — but after going through hard times of her own, her perspective changed.

“I learned the hard way,” Sabrina said. “I used to be the kind of person who thought that would never be me. But sometimes you’re just handed a raw deal.”

Sabrina said she expects to be healed enough to work in the spring, and she’s seeking an internship at an accounting office.

“Paid or unpaid, it doesn’t matter to me,” she said. “I’d like to get job experience.”

In the meantime, Sabrina has a Christmas wish: to get the brakes on the family car fixed. She learned of the issue last fall. It wasn’t unsafe yet, she was told, but it would be if it wasn’t addressed.

“I would hate to drive in an unsafe car with the kids,” she said.

Though the path has been long and sometimes winding, Sabrina said she believes all she’s gone through, including her pain, is leading to a better place for her and her sons.

“God has a plan,” she said. “It was all for some reason. Maybe he just knew he had to do something to get me back into school.”

This is the 35th year Press Christmas for All has worked to brighten the lives of Kootenai County residents in need.

Each year, Press readers donate generously to the program. Every penny raised is distributed to Kootenai County residents. All overhead costs are covered by The Hagadone Corp.

The gift recipients are our neighbors who are struggling, including the elderly, disabled, homeless and mentally ill.

Many who seek assistance from Christmas for All are working, but living near or below the poverty level. The beneficiaries of Press Christmas for All are going to keep their dignity intact while the community provides a hand up to help get them back on their feet.

Press Christmas for All is managed by The Hagadone Corp., with assistance from CharityReimagined.Org. It is a legally recognized 501(c)(3) nonprofit, run entirely by volunteers.

Please help. Make your tax-deductible donation today any of four ways:

• Mail a check to Press Christmas for All, 215 N. Second St., Coeur d’Alene, 83814

• Call The Press and make a secure credit card donation over the phone: 208-664-8176

• Go to Click on Christmas for All 2020 at the top of the page.

• Drop off your check at The Press weekdays between 8 a.m. and 5 p.m.: 215 N. Second St. in downtown CDA.


Teri Pratt; Jim and Linda Scharnhorst; Del and Susan Gerstad; Ryan Scheffler; Glenda Norris; Helen Warden; Mike and Linda Van Cheri; Donald and Maureen Martin; Saprina Schueller; Michelle Gant; Angelika Bradford; MaryAnn Uecker; Mike and Mary Friedrich; Pat and Patty Armour; Kent Holbrook; The Whaley Family; Nancy Ladyman; Jean Donaldson; Mark and Judith Pieklo; Nancy Mertz; Clifford and Rhoda Schlehuber; Alpha Chapter of Alpha Delta Kappa International Honorary Sorority for Women Educators; Evalyn Adams; Ned and Diane Tower; Larry and Laurie Schwenke in Memory of Shirlee Yates; Donald and Eileen Johnson; Richard and Arlene Lund in Memory of Arlene Lund; Williams and Susan Sturgeon; Jon and Gladys Kosty; Jean and Ronald Voights; Kim and Sheryl Golden; Leo and Karen Notar; Carol Yost; Katherine Hennigan; Joe and Diane Dahlheim; Lois Johnson in Memory of Harry E. Johnson; Reimer and Charlotte Vonsprecken; Dorothy Morey; Raymond and Patricia Pollard; Kenneth and Karen Moore

$500 and Over

James Kehrer; Tom and Amy Meyers; Rob and Paula Ahern; Maggie Lyons; Bob and Carole Smith; Corby Locke; Susan Owens; Kiwanis Club of Coeur d'Alene; Bert and Holly Donaldson; Jim and Nancy Barney; Jim and Gail English; Barbara Brouillard