Heart of Hospice Stories

Hospice Care – Brad’s Story

At 37 years of age, Brad Smith received the devastating news that he had stage three colon cancer, that stung the family to the point of heartache. With his loving wife, Jessie, and two small children by his side, they began what they thought was the journey to recovery.  Sadly only a few months later they were told the cancer had spread.

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Community & Supportive Care – Kate’s Story

A heartfelt appeal to fund bereavement counselling was made by Kate Courey at the seventh annual Handbags for Hospice as she shared her mother’s experience. Her words impacted everyone in the room and guests donated generously to help raise $28,790 in less than 10 minutes.

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Hospice Care – Dina’s Story

“Words can’t describe how happy we were when we received the call. After a turbulent journey in hospital palliative care and at home, a suite had become available for my Dad at St. Joseph’s Hospice,” shares Dina Boone.

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Volunteer Story – Susan Gray

After retirement from a teaching career in Fanshawe College’s School of Tourism and Hospitality, Susan felt drawn to be of service. Encouraged by a friend, she found her way to St. Joseph’s Hospice and from her first visit, Hospice felt like home.

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Hospice Care – Kathy’s Story

Kathy’s family made St. Joseph’s Hospice their home in 2018. From Thanksgiving dinner to manicures and hair cuts, Kathy came to life in a new way in her new home.

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Community & Supportive Care – Jennifer’s Story

For Jennifer, there was a time not long ago that felt like “the perfect storm,” with the deaths of both grandparents, her mother’s declining health and her husband’s spinal cord injury. All contributed to her feelings of loss and grief while diminishing her sense of personal wellbeing.

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Jennifer Stapleton

Volunteer Story – Lynn’s Heinitz

“Here comes the magic harpist,” a resident sings out as volunteer Lynn Heinitz arrives at St. Joseph’s Hospice, her beautiful Celtic harp slung over her shoulder. And so the magic begins!

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Hospice Care – Lina’s Story

As part of our Wreath of Hope: Mother’s Day Campaign, Lina Rodriguez shared her heartfelt Hospice experience. Read more about her journey to St. Joseph’s Hospice with her mother, Laura Ardilla.

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Hospice Care – Rick’s Story

Everyone matters at St. Joseph’s Hospice. Our patients, their caregivers and families are at the heart of everything we do. Read more about Rick and Irene as they celebrate their wedding anniversary at St. Joseph’s Hospice.

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Rick and Irene

Volunteer Story – Eileen Parker and Barry Johnson

Meet Eileen Parker and Barry Johnson. Dedicated community members who have helped build and grow St. Joseph’s Hospice. From volunteering to raising awareness, and donating – they have made a significant impact on our organization for more than 30 years.

Read Eileen and Barry’s Story

Hospice Care – Ed’s Story

As part of Handbags for Hospice 2018, Sue Willsey shared her husband’s experience at St. Joseph’s Hospice. Since then, Ed’s granddaughter, Aaliyah Gallant-Barons, began a yearly Lemonade Stand to help raise funds for ALS and St. Joseph’s Hospice. To thank the family for their continuous support, we organized a special evening with Ed’s beloved Toronto Maple Leafs.

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Hospice Care – John’s Story

A heartfelt appeal to fund one-suite for one year was made by John Fyfe-Millar at the Four Elements for Hospice Grand Finale as he shared his families experience. His words moved the crowd to help raise $43,415 in less than 5 minutes with a surprise gift of $10,000 from McCormick Canada.

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Hospice Care – Brad’s Story

Growing up in Thunder Bay, Brad Scrinko was the older of two sons, a kind and compassionate boy who flourished in music and the arts. After returning to college to study business, marketing, and photography, Brad met his partner, Larry, and they ultimately decided to make London their new home.

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Brad and family

Community Care – Judy’s Story

At the age of 56, Judy Caetano was diagnosed with Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis (ALS) was introduced to St. Joseph’s Hospice. Judy and her mother, Olinda, expressed the wish to have a Hospice Volunteer Visitor to provide regular companionship. Our staff went to work on finding a compatible volunteer and matched Jen, a retired epidemiologist and researcher.

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Jen, Judy and family

Supportive Care – McAlpine Family Story

Barb and John McAlpine learned of St. Joseph’s Hospice after an acquaintance passed in 2015. Losing a child at any age is something no parent expects to endure, but Barb and John know this pain too well. Their son Brent suffered a brain aneurysm at age 25.

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McAlpline family outdoors

Legacy Giving – Len and Ella Lesser’s Story

Len and his wife, Ella, came to St. Joseph’s Hospice for a tour. The usual sterile antiseptic hospital odors have been replaced by the aroma of coffee, freshly baked muffins and chocolate chip cookies in the morning.

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Len and Ella at the Handbags for Hospice event

Giving in Memory – McConville Family Story

Local business leader and President of May-McConville-Omni Insurance Brokers, Peter McConville, passed away at St. Joseph’s Hospice in June 2017. His brother, Shawn, shares the family’s experience with hospice residence care and why they chose to give to St. Joseph’s Hospice in memory of Peter.

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Peter and family playing hockey

Corporate Giving – Lerners LLP

I learned from my experiences that because our health care system understandably is focused on prevention and cure, hospice palliative care doesn’t always get the attention and the resources it deserves, and needs. That’s what drew me to support the amazing work of St. Joseph’s Hospice.

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Yola Ventresca, chair of Handbags for Hospice

Corporate Giving – McCormick Canada

McCormick Canada has a long standing history of supporting St. Joseph’s Hospice. Stepping up as a local leader, they were one of the first businesses to donate toward the Capital Campaign and you’ll see their generosity displayed within our Hospice kitchen.

Read the McCormick Canada Story