Joie de vivre is real for survivor

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This past Saturday marked the 10-year anniversary of a tragic snowboarding accident for then-14-year-old Jake Pereira at Schweitzer Mountain. He broke both legs, fractured his neck and back and sustained a severe concussion and serious nerve damage. Airlifted to Harbor View Medical Center in Seattle, he underwent two major reconstructive surgeries and spent two weeks in the hospital before coming home to face three months in a wheelchair and a long road to recovery.

So how did the now-24-year-old Jake celebrate a decade of life since? Skydiving with friends!

Graduating from Coeur d’Alene High School in 2011, he earned a Business Administration degree, with a minor in economics at the University of Nevada. In college Jake was president of his fraternity and served as president of the University student body. Now after an internship at Microsoft, he’s living the dream in the Reno/Tahoe area as a Microsoft Global Operations manager. In June he placed in his first body-building competition and lives a life of travel and adventure.

What is most inspiring about Jake is his "joie de vivre," a passion and a gratitude for life. It seems those who’ve faced their own mortality, no matter at what age, embrace every single day with wonder.

“I’m very grateful where life has taken me since my snowboarding injury, and continue to work every day to improve myself and the life that I am so blessed to live!” said Jake.

To that, I say Amen.

• • •

Derek Hough has got to be the hardest-working man in entertainment. He’s an award-winning dancer and choreographer who’s starred on stage and screen. He’s also a really nice guy. Derek’s latest project is directing, choreographing and starring in the latest Michael Bublé video, “I Believe in You.”

He’s taking inspiration for the storyline of his grandparents’ six-decade-plus marriage. Said Derek about Bob and Cokie Hough in an Entertainment Tonight interview, “My grandfather passed away last year and the last couple of years they danced every single morning together. They danced every single morning to the same song, and it was their ritual. Even the night before he passed, they were dancing together, and then he passed away that night. For me, that was like this beautiful story of everlasting love.”

That’s the story Derek wants the video to tell.

This past Fourth of July, the first since Bob had been gone, several members of the Hough family were here in Coeur d’Alene for the parade. It was bittersweet since for the past several years Bob and Cokie had joined me in the announcer’s booth grandstand and always enjoyed taking a twirl or three with the kids in the pre-parade dance party in the street.

This past year I looked down and watched a sweet moment when Derek and his grandma took to the street for an energetic spin to “Rockin’ in the USA.”

The new Michael Bublé video will be out in time for Valentine’s Day and I can’t imagine a more beautiful love story to tell.

• • •

Proud family moment last week when our oldest grandson, Matthew Snider, was sworn in as a member of the Post Falls Lions Club. Bert received his 20-year pin the same night. Since Matt was a little boy he’s volunteered with his Grandpa Bert on a number of community projects. Now in his 20s, he and Bert made a little bit of local Lions history as the first grandfather / grandson active members of the 50+ year old club.

• • •

Happy birthday today to my firstborn daughter Alyssa Stromberg, Leslie Tibbs, Tonya Myers, Kristi Rietze, Laura Little, Susan Cook, Deedie Beard, James Ownbey, Jesse Anglen and Jamie Benner.

The same tomorrow to Donna Wemple, Randy Medlock, Chad VanBrunt, Ron Koontz and Seth Yost.

On Friday Jackie Jameson, Leslie Damiano, Cindy Spence, Denise Lundy, Dawn Magness, Kay Burke, Howard Martinson and Donna Armbruster mark another year.

Gene Reed, Connie Johnson, Nancy Wilson, Cindy Mead and Charisse Gross celebrate on Saturday.

Sharing super Super Bowl birthdays are Susan Jacobson, Sophie Medlock, Leslie Deubner, Sharon Anderson, Vicki Johnson and Jeanette Dunn.

Randy Oaks, Rich Morrow, Carole Fredekind, Cris Burnham, Rick Altman, Pat Clevenger (40!), Stephen Scott, Jimmy McAndrew, Lisa Hunt (50!), Duane Justus, Matt Ormeshed and Mike Grabenstein (70!) put on their party hats on Monday.

Amanda Miller, Jim Thyssen, Lori Malin, Angel Duthie, Terry Ellis and Shawn Aldrich will blow out their birthday candles on Feb. 7.

• • •

Kerri Rankin Thoreson is a member of the National Society of Newspaper Columnists and the former publisher of the Post Falls Tribune. Main Street appears every Wednesday in The Press and Kerri can be contacted on Facebook or via email mainstreet@cdapress.com. Follow her on Twitter @kerrithoreson.

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