THEY ARE THREE WORDS that canturn a person’s world upside down. “You have cancer.” For Sandpoint resident Dani Deschanel, they were the last words she had expected to hear. After all, she did not have any symptoms that would lead her to believe she had a life-threatening illness.
Dani had been off work as a checker at Super 1 Foods for a few months awaiting approval for carpal tunnel surgery. “I was still in the diagnostic stage [for carpal tunnel]. They did a lot of different scans and in those scans they found something suspicious, which turned out to be endometrial cancer,” said Dani.
RURAL SMALL TOWNS ARE OFTEN home to idyllic landscapes and are stewards to their surroundings. What’s always at stake is their ability to preserve or improve the quality of life there. And, their needs vary from those of more urban areas based on their size, geography and the layout of public and private lands that surround them.
“Rural communities are facing unique challenges as their demographics and economics change with the world,” said Jeremy Grimm, Livability Opportunity Responsibility (LOR) Foundation’s newest program officer, located in Sandpoint. “Often, rural communities are not prepared or don’t have the resources to adapt to the changes they are facing, and sometimes, the livability of a place is degraded or jeopardized due to growth.
IF YOU HAVE LIVED IN SANDPOINT for any length of time, you know there is simply no other place like it. The beauty, the friendliness of the people and the true sense of community are just a few reasons people choose to call this town home.
In Lake Pend Oreille School District (LPOSD), there are several educators and staff who graduated from Sandpoint High School (SHS), went off to college and careers in other parts of the country, eventually returning to this small North Idaho town to teach or work in the school system that holds so many fond memories for them.
Jeralyn Mire, SHS’s post secondary transition counselor, worked in Los Angeles, Arizona and Spokane before returning to her hometown in 1994.