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Paying it forward: Woman returns to Perham, 15 years after moving away, to give back to the community she says gave her so much

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A mother who benefitted from Perham’s generosity 15 years ago has come back to pay it forward.

Former resident Joni Bloomquist said she would have been “living on the streets” back then if not for the support and donations of community members, who rallied around her in her time of greatest need.


Her daughter, Krista Martin, just 10 years old at the time, was battling an unidentifiable type of retinal blastoma, and the disease had caused the young girl to go blind.

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Marie Johnson
Marie Johnson (formerly Nitke) came to the Perham Focus after several years as the Education and Arts & Entertainment Editor at the Herald-Review of Grand Rapids, Minn. She lives in rural Ottertail with her husband, Dan, and their spunky yellow lab, Louisa.
(218) 346-5900 x228