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Marx retires after eight years at CCS

by ANNISA KEITH
Staff Writer | April 26, 2022 1:00 AM

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SANDPOINT — A local woman well known for her giving spirit will soon be retiring.

Known and recognized as a pillar of support to many, Cindy Marx will be retiring at the end of April and later moving to Portugal.

Although Marx and her husband, David, are still learning the language, the two are enthusiastic to see what retirement holds for them.

“One of the things we have to do for our visa is tell them why we’re coming,” Marx said on Monday. “I said once we get settled I want to find an area in the community where I can be of assistance.”

Assistance, Marx said, has been something she has always been called to do.

While living in Bonner County, Marx has jumped at many opportunities to gain skills that are needed by those who surround her.

Marx became an EMT in the late 1990s after some coworkers experienced an emergency, and an ambulance was not able to arrive for two hours.

“It was one of those situations where nobody felt comfortable moving them,” Marx said. “In the mid-’90s there was one ambulance in Bonner County. They had an accident in the Coldwater warehouse, the one ambulance was in the process of extricating a person from the vehicle.

They waited for hours for an ambulance.”

After that incident, the opportunity to become an EMT was opened to Marx, and she immediately volunteered.

Marx’s involvement in the medical field became more varied in the following years, however this time it was not by choice. Instead of being a volunteer, Marx became a patient.

After facing breast cancer not once, but twice, in the 2000s she gained experiences she would later share with others.

“I’m a two-time cancer survivor myself. I wanted to talk about what It was like being on the receiving end,” Marx said.

In Marx’s case, she had two different forms of cancer, a rare occurrence.

“That’s really rare to have two different types in the same breast. Being unique and rare in that way did not make me feel any better,” Marx said. “David was there for me, my family was there for me. My community was there for me.”

Marx decided to have a double mastectomy to reduce the likelihood of another recurrence. A few years later, she became involved with Community Cancer Services in Sandpoint.

Beginning as a board member in 2014, after two years she decided to take a more hands-on approach and since 2016, she has served as the executive director of CCS.

“It changes the way I offer and it changes the way it’s received,” Marx said. “I can say ‘I know where you are, I understand where you are.’ Everybody’s journey is unique. There is another side to it. There is a light at the end of the tunnel.”

Marx’s experiences play into why she is retiring.

“Part of this whole retirement thing, having been through that cancer experience, I don’t know what my expiration date is. We want to go out and enjoy things,” she said.

The first thing Marx said she will do in retirement is decompress and learn about her new home.

She also managed Pend d’Oreille Winery for 10 years, skills which came in handy during previous CCS fundraisers.

In addition to Marx’s contributions to CCS, she also volunteered at the Bonner County and Priest River search and rescue groups. Although according to Marx, they did more training than searching.

Marx and her husband will be bringing their two dogs, Chilo and Tillie, and cat Rhoni with them to Portugal.

“It’s my second big move like that, I’m not uncomfortable doing it,” Marx said. “We’ve got some good ideas about how things work.”

Originating in 2002 as “Heather’s House,” Community Cancer Services is a non-profit, community funded organization that provides knowledge and resources to those who have been diagnosed with cancer. Support is provided to Bonner and Boundary patients and their families.

Marx herself knew of Heather’s journey while she was working at the winery, saying that the grassroots group played an integral role in early fundraising efforts.

Those interested in making a donation or volunteering at Community Cancer Services can do so by going online CommunityCancerServices.com or in person at 1205 U.S. 2, Suite 101B, in Sandpoint.

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