Caring for Katie

Reblogged from CDAPress.com

Originally published December 29, 2014

By DEVIN HEILMAN
dheilman@cdapress.com

Katie & jacksonCOEUR d’ALENE – Katie Stolebarger’s world has been turned upside-down.

On Nov. 13, she received the worst news of her life – she has stage 4 breast cancer.

The otherwise super healthy 32-year-old single mom was in disbelief when her surgeon told her the swollen lymph node under her armpit was indeed cancer and that it had spread to her hip bone and a vertebrae on her spine. She thought she was just going in for a routine checkup.

“I immediately started sobbing and still can’t believe such a thing could be happening to me,” she said.

She is facing several rounds of chemotherapy, surgeries and radiation and won’t be able to work for a while. Stolebarger, of Coeur d’Alene, has been a real estate agent at Windermere for 13 years, and her work family at Windermere plans to be right by her side during her journey through cancer.

“She’s just a neat gal; I love her to pieces,” said Windermere co-owner and foundation secretary/treasurer Midge Smock. “We’re definitely family oriented and Katie is one of ours and we’re going to take care of her.”

Smock and her son and daughter-in-law were quick to action when they heard of Stolebarger’s distress.

“We were in Hawaii on vacation and we got a text and that was the week before Thanksgiving,” Smock said. “My daughter-in-law, son and I immediately got home and started figuring out what we could do.”

Smock and other Windermere agents are rallying support for Stolebarger to help her pay the forthcoming medical expenses as well as continue to provide for her 6-year-old son, Jackson. Smock said they have reached out to Stolebarger’s friends and others in the real estate community to donate their time or money to the cause. A Christmas photography fundraiser brought in about $7,000; combined with other efforts, fundraisers have generated close to $30,000 for Stolebarger, whose insurance deductibles and out-of-pocket expenses are about $27,000 so far.

Smock said they are in the process of setting up a trust for Stolebarger to also help with the medical bills and accompanying expenses. In the past, Windermere jumped to the rescue of one of its agents who needed a bone marrow transplant.

“We raised the money and it saved his life,” Smock said.

The real estate agency is once again stepping up for one of its employees.

“Her chemotherapy is going to be very intense,” Smock said. “We want to keep her in her apartment and help take care of her son. She’s in a fight for her life.”

Stolebarger has already gone through a couple sessions of chemo and knows she will be losing her blond hair soon. She is holding her head high and trying to maintain a positive and proactive attitude as she faces a frightening journey. She is happy and thankful to have her Windermere family.

“I can’t imagine not having them here right now,” Stolebarger said. “They’re like having an extra 100 family members to have by my side to walk through this with me.”

As for her own family, Stolebarger said being diagnosed with cancer has brought them closer. She said her friends have been supportive, too, and everyone is thinking more about the important things in life.

“I’ve been blogging about what really matters,” she said. “It’s not hair, it’s not having a perfect face or big boobs. None of that really matters because when you’re sitting in the chemo room, people are just happy to be alive. Everything just goes out the window.”

She said her family does have a history of breast cancer and she encourages all women to go in and get checked.

“I was fine, other than being a little tired. I feel fine,” she said. “Even if you feel fine, just go.”

For info, to read Stolebarger’s blog or donate, visit www.caringforkatie.org.

Caring for Katie

Posted on January 20, 2015 at 3:54 pm
Randy and Christy Oetken | Category: Browser, Browser's Friends, Caring for Katie, Charitable Giving, Coeur d'Alene, Puppy, Quotes, Tracker, Trakker, Trakkers Tail, Windermere | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

TRAKKER’S TAIL: First Day at Work

Tracker is On the Job!

Bright-eyed and bushy-tailed this morning, and on the job already!

Tracker came home for the first time on Saturday (September 24), a month earlier than we had originally thought. We are thrilled!

He seems to be adjusting well, even though Sunday was a long day, filled with lots of riding in the car.

We felt really great coming into “work” this morning.  Got to meet lots of new people:  mostly “colleagues” at Windermere.

Also had to spend lots of time snuggling, chewing on ear lobes, gnawing on fingers, as well as lots of  sniffing and snuffling…

By noon, we were exhausted!  Who knew work could be so hard???

Puppy Love

There is nothing that warms a frozen heart
Like a puppy’s cuddles and kisses;
Though all is dark, there will be smiles
When welcomed by one that so misses.

How could there be tears as he plays with your toes
And looks up at you with sad loving eyes;
Or stress as he shadows your every move
And trips on his ears chasing butterflies?

http://christine-b.hubpages.com/hub/Puppy-Love-Poem
Posted on September 26, 2011 at 12:59 pm
Randy and Christy Oetken | Category: Browser's Friends, Coeur d'Alene, Dog, home, Photographs, Puppy, Tracker, Trakker, Trakkers Tail | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

NEWS ON TRACKER: The Big Day Coming Soon!

October 24, 2011

October 24 is the big day when Tracker will officially become ours!

Just thought you would like to know.

We can HARDLY WAIT!!!!

We’re just SAYIN’…

And it’s REALLY hard to get any work done around here…

(Maybe our tails are wagging in anticipation…)

Posted on September 20, 2011 at 2:39 pm
Randy and Christy Oetken | Category: Browser's Friends, Dog, home, Press Releases about the Oetkens, Puppy, Tracker, Trakker, Trakkers Tail | Tagged , , , ,

BABY PHOTOS: Our New Puppy “Tracker” at 4 Weeks

We interrupt this typical ho-hum Monday afternoon for this breaking news:  We have new photographs of “Tracker”!

Normally, we would beg your indulgence for posting personal photographs on our Real Estate blog…but REALLY!  Have you ever SEEN a puppy so obviously intelligent and charming???

Here he is, at 4 weeks of age.

Undoubtedly, he is the cutest thing out there, and we thought we would give you a chance to agree…

The lower photos include him posing with his litter mate.  “Tracker” is the adorable little guy on the right.

Incidentally, we haven’t yet finalized the spelling of his name.  We may end up spelling it “TRAKKER” after all is said and done.  Stay tuned for more information the moment it becomes available…

Posted on September 12, 2011 at 2:20 pm
Randy and Christy Oetken | Category: Browser's Friends, Dog, Photographs, Puppy, Tracker, Trakker, Trakkers Tail | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , ,

Coming Tomorrow: K9 Karnival and 5K Fun Run!

K9 Karnival & 5K Fun Run
Saturday, August 27th at 8:30 am (Check in for run 7:45-8:30 am)
Bonners Ferry Fairgrounds

Wag the Dog, Frisbee Fun, Doggy Spa, Games, Food, FUN, and lotsa prizes! Course: 3.1 mi from fairgrounds along the beautiful Kootenai River – walk or run with your dog.

For more information: http://pawsitiveworks.com/UpcomingEvents.aspx.

http://www.dogabouttownnw.com/calendar.html

Posted on August 26, 2011 at 11:40 am
Randy and Christy Oetken | Category: Activities, Bonners Ferry, Community Events, Dog, Idaho, Puppy, Riverfront, Riverfront Properties, Riverstone, Tracker | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

Dog Fancy Magazine: Coeur d’Alene Idaho is Dog Heaven!

DogTown USA 2011 Has Plenty to Bark About.

DOGTOWN USA

Coeur d’Alene has been called a slice of heaven; as we know, all dogs go to heaven.

By Susan Chaney
dogtown usa

No single person, organization, or law can make a city dog friendly. It takes ongoing effort and dedication from many people.

That’s exactly how Coeur d’Alene, Idaho, became the winner of DOG FANCY‘s 2011 DogTown USA contest.

Although lots of dogs have lived in the town of 47,000 for as long as anyone can remember, it was just last year that the first dog park opened. In 2008, the city and the Kootenai Humane Society partnered to give homeless dogs a better adoption chance. Two years ago, the Dog About Town website launched, hosting a doggie events page, and a year later its publication began for dog lovers in Coeur d’Alene and surrounding areas of the Inland Northwest. Dog d’Alene an annual downtown dog celebration, kicked off four years ago. The city of 17,000 dogs has made great strides in a few short years.

To read more about this wonderful DogTown, pick up the October issue of DOG FANCY.

Posted on August 26, 2011 at 11:30 am
Randy and Christy Oetken | Category: Browser, Browser's Friends, Coeur d'Alene, Community Events, Dog, Downtown, Kootenai County, Puppy, Tracker | Tagged , , , , , , , , ,

Birth Announcement: Our Puppy Has Arrived!

Tracker 16 Days Old

Introducing


Tracker

We are anticipating the pitter-patter of little paws once again!

Tracker is a Black-and-Silver Miniature Schnauzer. He arrived on August 5 and is now 18 days old.  He and his brother (pictured above) are in good health and are growing well.

We will be adopting him into our home and into our hearts around September 23.  He may even make an appearance in our Real Estate office as early as October!

Many of you know of the heartbreaking loss of our boy, Browser, which we endured in February.  While we will never replace beloved Browser, we are heartened at this news of Tracker’s arrival, and we feel an immense amount of joy in the anticipation of welcoming him into our lives.

Of course, we will be training him up RIGHT:  from Day One, he will be learning how to sniff out great Real Estate opportunities for our client friends.  Like Browser before him, Tracker will share every part of our lives in the office, as well as in our home.

Come  share in our joy!  We do hope you will stop by to meet our new little buddy some time very soon.   Schnauzers need lots of socialization – please help us get him acclimated.

And so, we soon shall embark  (pun…intended!) upon a new, yet familiar adventure.  Partly in anticipation, and partly in dread, we close with this poem about raising a puppy.  Enjoy!

Poem For A New Puppy Owner
Don’t smell crotches, don’t eat plants.
Don’t steal food or underpants.
Don’t eat my socks, don’t grab my hair.
Don’t rip the stuffing from that chair!
Don’t eat those peas! Don’t touch that bush!
Don’t chew my shoes. What IS that mush?
Eat your cookies. Drink your drink,
Outta the toilet! Outta the sink!
Away from the cat box, it’s for the cat!
And MUST you kiss me after that?
Yes, raising a puppy, is not for the lazy!
Though puppies are funny, they’re also quite crazy.
But don’t despair, though its toil and strife.
After three years, you’ll get back your life!
So, let’s go for “walkies”, you can “do your thing”
And perhaps I’ll get back my good diamond ring!

Author Unknown

Tracker Yawns“Tracker” Yawns

Joyfully,

 – Randy & Christy

http://www.the-puppy-dog-place.com/puppy-poems.html

Posted on August 25, 2011 at 1:54 pm
Randy and Christy Oetken | Category: Browser, Browser's Friends, Photographs, Press Releases about the Oetkens, Puppy, Tracker | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

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