Anyone in the region who knows the pain of dealing with Sudden Infant Death Syndrome probably knows Liz Montgomery. Itâs also likely parents whose lives have never been touched by the tragic syndrome have met Montgomery, the director of the Inland Northwest SIDS Foundation. After losing a child to SIDS, she became a staunch advocate for the cause, raising awareness and funding for years. Her nonprofit works to educate community members about the risks that could lead to SIDS. It also offers the only support group for infant and pregnancy loss in Idaho.
Montgomery, of Rathdrum, leads more than 50 volunteers who serve the foundation. The group recently opened the organizationâs first thrift store, Inland Northwest SIDS Foundation Thriftique on Fourth Street in Coeur dâAlene.
What did you dream of being as a child?
I always thought I would be a teacher. I loved school. I went to school to be a teacher. I went to NIC and University of Idaho for degrees in education. I thought thatâs what I would be one day.
Where do you see yourself in 10 years?
I see myself traveling and training people, getting hospitals trained in safe sleep certification. I imagine Iâll be traveling around and getting hospitals certified around the country.
Whatâs the funniest or most embarrassing thing you have ever done?
I honestly donât know. Iâm not one to be the center of attention or doing things that are funny. Maybe just calling someone by the wrong name then halfway through the conversation realizing Iâm talking to someone else. Usually I can figure it out mid-conversation, so the wrong name doesnât come out.
Who has been the biggest inspiration for you in life?
There are just so many people I look up to in our community, but I would have to go to my grandmother. I was named after her. The way she lived her life was very good. She raised five children, worked, was married, attending church regularly. She was always very dedicated to family, kids, grandchildren and her great grandchildren.
What have you accomplished this year that you are most proud of?
Overall the growth of Inland Northwest SIDS Foundation, specifically the state proclamation the governor is signing Oct. 28, declaring October safe infant sleep awareness month throughout the state. There will be a signing ceremony on the steps of the capitol building in Boise. Itâs exciting.