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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.

Days away from "Wicked" ticket sales

Days away from "Wicked" ticket sales

After breaking box office records and selling out in record time in 2011, WICKED, Broadway’s biggest blockbuster will return to Spokane’s INB Performing Arts Center May 7-25. Tickets for the return engagement go on sale THIS Friday, February 14 at 10:00am. Tickets will be available at Best of Broadway, by calling 800-325-SEAT, and all TicketsWest outlets.

The search for Washington’s Outstanding Senior Volunteer

The search for Washington’s Outstanding Senior Volunteer

Every day, Washington senior volunteers generously give their time and service to help others. Now here’s your chance to give back by nominating a deserving older adult in your community for his or her outstanding service through the Salute to Senior Service® program.

Sponsored by Home Instead, Inc., Salute to Senior Service recognizes the invaluable contributions of adults age 65 and older who give at least 15 hours a month of volunteer service to their favorite causes.

“Seniors have so much to give and make a positive impact on our communities daily,” said Lois Etienne, owner of the Home Instead Senior Care office serving Spokane. “Senior volunteerism not only benefits others, but also helps seniors stay active and socially engaged in their communities – important elements of healthy aging.”

Picture day for the 12th Man

Picture day for the 12th Man

Another chance for the 12th Man to send their cheers all the way the Super Bowl. The Spokane Indians invite all of the area’s Seahawks fans for join them on Blue Friday for the Official Spokane 12s Picture.


At 12:12pm on Friday, Spokane’s 12th Man members will flood the field at Avista Stadium and create a human 12 to support the home state team. Since it’s the last Blue Friday of the season, fans are encouraged to go all out in their favorite Seahawks green and blue. Prizes will be given to the 12 best dresses Seahawks fans.

Meet Taima the Seahawks mascot

Meet Taima the Seahawks mascot

He’s the Seahawk’s secret weapon, and before Taima the Hawk flies in front of the team at the Super Bowl, he’ll be visiting with the 12th Man in Spokane.


Taima has been the official Seattle Seahawks mascot since 2005 and leads the team out the tunnel before every home game. The famous hawk lives just outside of Spokane with his trainer Dave Knutson. On Friday, The 12th Man of Spokane will be able to visit with the special mascot.

Cheney woman using Facebook to find donor match

Cheney woman using Facebook to find donor match

There are 77,000 people with one thing in common, they need a kidney. One Cheney woman is crusading to get her's before it's too late.

People go on Facebook for all kinds of reasons; to find a long lost friend, maybe. Jennifer Shuman is looking for someone more specific.

"It's going to be difficult but they're out there," Shuman said.

At 15, kidney disease killed Shuman's dad. Six years later, she received the same diagnosis.

"It causes scaring so after time it just slowly starts scaring the kidneys and the scarred parts fail and there's no way to correct that and it's both kidneys," Shuman said.

Ten years and two kids later, her kidneys are deteriorating. Doctors say they function at just 18-percent. It's enough to put her on the donor list and just shy of needing dialysis.

"After seeing my dad go through that I'm terrified of dialysis," Shuman said.

So, she needs a kidney, just one.

"I want people to know that they can donate a kidney and save somebody's life and still live their life like it never happened," Shuman said.