To Hospice Patients, Granting a Simple Wish Can Bring Great Joy

Posted by | Posted in Foundation, Home Services, Sharing Wishes Fund | Posted on 19-03-2014

Sharing-Wishes-FundWiley Moore had a simple wish – to go to Red Lobster for dinner. Unfortunately, Wiley was bedbound because of stage 4 cancer that had spread to his spine and brain. Leaving his home was not possible.

But, thanks to the Sharing Wishes Fund, he did get to enjoy a meal from Red Lobster earlier this year when a member of Memorial Home Services’ hospice team delivered it to his bedside

“He was really, really happy with it,” said Linda Moore, Wiley’s wife. “He just couldn’t get over that they brought Red Lobster to him and he was able to have that good food. He was like a little kid.” Read the rest of this entry »

Sharing Wishes Grants Hospice Patient’s Wish for a “Girls’ Day Out”

Posted by | Posted in Foundation, Home Services, Sharing Wishes Fund | Posted on 01-08-2013

Sharing Wishes Lincoln MuseumGirls just want to have fun, and Dorothy Ferrara is no exception.

Dorothy, a patient of Memorial Home Services Hospice, had mentioned to several staff members that she wanted to visit the Abraham Lincoln Presidential Library & Museum. When Kelsi Dobson, medical social worker, visited with her, Dorothy made a minor addition to her already humble request: she wanted a steak and a margarita.

Dobson worked with the Sharing Wishes fund, a program through the Memorial Medical Center Foundation that grants the wishes of hospice patients in central Illinois, to grant Dorothy’s wish and then some—giving her a day she’d never forget.

Dorothy spent the days leading up to her “girls’ day out” marking off dates on the calendar until that special day arrived. On July 11, Angie Clifton, hospice home health aide, arrived early to curl Dorothy’s hair, do her makeup and help dress her in new clothes, bought especially for this occasion.

Little did Dorothy know she’d be riding in style.

A limousine pulled up to whisk away the guest of honor, along with Clifton and June Asbury, a dietary staff member at Oak Terrace—two friends who have become like “family” to her. Not only would this be Dorothy’s first time in a limo, but it was also the first time she would be leaving Oak Terrace in five years.

The first stop was Chili’s, where Dorothy dined on her long-awaited steak and margarita. After lunch, the trio went to the museum.

After her big day out, Dorothy was tired, but happy.

“It was a terrific day,” she said. “The nicest thing I have ever been able to do.”

Since then, Dorothy’s visits with Dobson have been spent talking about how great that day was, and how grateful she is to Sharing Wishes for the opportunity.

For more information on the Sharing Wishes Fund, or to make a donation, visit SharingWishesFund.org.

Granting Special Wishes for Hospice Patients

Posted by | Posted in Foundation, Sharing Wishes Fund, Videos | Posted on 05-07-2013

151-13-27A hot-air balloon ride for an end-stage cancer patient. A video-gaming system for an isolated, homebound patient who had lost the ability to speak. One final Valentine’s date for an elderly married couple living together in a nursing home.

These three wishes all became a reality over the past year because of a special fund sponsored by the Memorial Medical Center Foundation that helps make wishes come true for hospice patients and their families.

The goal of hospice is to focus on quality of life for every patient. As a team, hospice works to enhance this quality of life physically, emotionally and spiritually. 

Read the rest of this entry »

Hospice Patient’s Final Wish Takes Her Soaring ‘Like an Eagle’

Posted by | Posted in Foundation, Home Services, Sharing Wishes Fund | Posted on 06-05-2013

20120622-mhs0153On a warm summer evening, with a sky as blue and clear as it comes, Carol Cray set off in a hot-air balloon to fulfill a longtime dream.

“I’ve always wanted to glide and soar like an eagle,” she said as she watched the colorful balloon inflate on its takeoff spot — an empty plat of grass near the Wal-Mart in Lincoln.

A doting grandmother to three girls ages 6 to 18, Carol spent much of 2012 pursuing and fulfilling dreams and wishes she had for her life. After more than two years battling various cancers, her doctor placed her in the care of Memorial Home Services Hospice, where a team of nurses, social workers and aides worked together to ensure her comfort during her final days.

Carol’s daughter, Angie Kruse, made it her duty to help fulfill her mother’s final wishes and had made all but one come true: a hot-air balloon ride, which Carol and her husband, Pat, had talked about for years. For six months, her daughter searched until Carol’s hospice social worker, Laurie Dobrinich, suggested the family apply to Memorial Medical Center Foundation’s new Sharing Wishes Fund, which grants wishes of hospice patients in central Illinois. Carol’s was the fourth wish granted by the fund, which was established in March 2012. Read the rest of this entry »

Sharing Wishes Fund Grants Modest Yet Meaningful Wish for Hospice Patient

Posted by | Posted in Foundation, Home Services, Sharing Wishes Fund | Posted on 27-12-2012

Sharon Mills in her new Christmas dress with Tom Culberson, Hospice RN, Heather Danport, Home Health Aide, and Laurie Dobrinich, Hospice Social Worker

In her 65 years, Sharon Mills of Hillsboro has never had a Christmas dress.

A patient in Memorial’s Home Hospice program, Sharon confided to social worker Laurie Dobrinich and Hospice nurse Tom Culberson, RN, that all she wanted this holiday season was to look and feel beautiful.

Thanks to the Memorial Medical Center Foundation’s Sharing Wishes fund, she did. Established in the spring of 2012, the fund helps provide the money necessary to make the small yet very special wishes of hospice patients, like Sharon, become a reality. Read the rest of this entry »

Hospice Patient’s Last Wish Has a Lasting Impact on All

Posted by | Posted in Foundation, Home Services, Sharing Wishes Fund | Posted on 21-11-2012

Wishes. They can be large in scale or elaborate in approach. But for Diane Huffines, a 72-year-old hospice patient with Memorial Home Services, her wish was simple: to relax – even if just for an hour.

A simple visit to the spa would fulfill this wish in many cases. But for Diane, finding transportation there, coupled with the energy necessary to make the short trip could prove difficult. Hospice staff knew that this one simple wish could provide additional comfort in her final days. So they contacted the Memorial Medical Center Foundation for assistance.

The Foundation had established a special fund in 2012 called the “Sharing Wishes Fund.” It provides the money necessary to make the small and simple wishes of hospice patients, like Diane, become a reality. Read the rest of this entry »

Sharing Wishes Fund Provides Man With One Final Trip

Posted by | Posted in Foundation, Home Services, Sharing Wishes Fund | Posted on 11-07-2012

Walt learns he gets to take a special trip to St. Louis

Walt McCarty didn’t have a big wish on his bucket list before he died. He only wanted to make one last trip to St. Louis.

Walt has chronic obstructive pulmonary disease, or COPD, a common lung disease that makes it difficult to breathe. With limited finances and time, the 79-year-old Springfield man knew that the prospect for a final overnight trip wasn’t good.

But that’s when one of Walt’s caregivers with Memorial Home Services Hospice told him and his daughter, Linda Roberts, about the newly established Sharing Wishes Fund, administered by the Memorial Medical Center Foundation.

The fund was launched in March to help fulfill the wishes of terminally ill hospice patients and their families in central Illinois.

Walt was the first recipient of the fund. On April 19, he and his daughter and her boyfriend made the overnight trip to the Ameristar Casino Resort in St. Charles, Mo. Read the rest of this entry »