New paint, new lungs help woman breathe easier
November 30, 2022 1:06 AM
As part of the annual Press Christmas for All campaign, we share with readers the stories of those applying for help and some who have received assistance.
This is the story of a woman who loves bringing joy to families through art and giving back to her community.
After years of suffering from mobility-limiting respiratory ailments, the biggest challenge for “Betsy” was just getting through each day without using a breathing machine.
Betsy is a single woman who lives on a fixed Social Security disability income. She is an artist who enjoys making people smile through her work. Chronic obstructive pulmonary disease and asthma have long made independence and continuing her artwork incredibly difficult.
“I’m not one to ask people to do anything for me, as I’ve always done for myself,” she said.
But with failing lungs, she couldn’t even take out the garbage.
“There’s no way. I couldn’t do anything,” she said. “I couldn’t walk four steps. I was dragging around an oxygen machine.”
In September 2021, Betsy underwent a miraculous double lung transplant. She spent the last year in recovery and is just now able to do little tasks.
She asked Press Christmas for All and Charity Reimagined to assist with painting her house, as the exterior had fallen into disrepair. The project was physically and financially out of her reach.
Charity Reimagined, Press Christmas for All and Habitat for Humanity stepped in to make life a little brighter for this big-hearted artist. Habitat offered to supply materials at discounted costs and to provide the volunteer labor.
“I’m so grateful for them to be able to do what they did,” Betsy said. “I wouldn’t have been able to do it. It took me a year just to be out walking and to have any strength. Painting the house was just a godsend.”
Press Christmas for All takes pride in sharing the stories of those who have been helped and the difference it made in their lives.
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, the homeless, veterans in need, and people with disabilities and mental illness. Many who seek assistance from Christmas for All are working, but living in poverty.
Beneficiaries of Press Christmas for All keep their dignity 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.