Hospice Care – Lina’s Story

Lina Rodriguez came to St. Joseph’s Hospice when her mother, Laura Ardila, was nearing the end of her life. Read more about her heartfelt story as part of our 2019 Wreath of Hope: Mother’s Day Campaign:

“I could never have imagined a day without the sound of my mother’s infectious laugh, the taste of her delicious food, or the smell of her perfume. Yet, here I am at 31-years-old learning to live life without my best friend, my mom.”

Lina and Laura

“After mom’s lung cancer diagnosis, we celebrated her 61st birthday in the hospital. She was the bravest woman I know, but after rounds of chemotherapy, and immunotherapy her energy dwindled, appetite faded, and she began to experience terrible stomach pain. Cancer had spread to her liver and peritoneum. There was nothing more that could be done. We moved into St. Joseph’s Hospice in May 2018; it became our ‘home away from home.’”

St. Joseph’s Hospice exceeded my expectations in so many ways. After years of supporting my mom through various health challenges, it was difficult to step back and allow compassionate nurses to do their job. But as soon as I entered the Hospice doors, my shoulders relaxed and I felt a sense of peace as the dedicated staff and volunteers took care of my mom’s every need. They treated us like family and allowed me to become her daughter again.

“We spent many evenings at Hospice watching mom’s favourite Latin soap operas as I set up my bed right next to hers, making myself a permanent fixture for the month.”

“One of mom’s goals while at St. Joseph’s Hospice was to live long enough to watch the World Cup and she was thrilled when the day came. We’re fortunate to have many close friends who supported us since our move from Colombia to Canada in the year 2000 and they flooded into Hospice to watch the game. With cheering heard down the hall, we turned her suite into a party, wall-to-wall, with food and plenty of laughter.

“St. Joseph’s Hospice gave us a chance to “live” as we prepared for mom’s death. I have so many wonderful memories of our time together in our ‘home away from home.’”

“Hospice care does not stop once your loved one has died. I continue to receive bereavement and supportive care on a regular basis. Going back to Hospice feels like coming home and I will forever be indebted to them for their support. I give back in every way I can such as participating in the Hike for Hospice, donating to help future families, and I’m hoping to become a volunteer in the future.”

She may never walk me down the aisle or help me raise children of my own – but St. Joseph’s Hospice gave us beautiful memories and a perfect ending to her story. I wanted the best for her and I couldn’t have asked for more.

“The need for hospice care continues to grow and the ability of St. Joseph’s Hospice to provide support to families, like mine, relies heavily on the generosity of community members like you. I encourage you to donate generously in honour or in memory of your mother and help change a life.”

My sincere thanks,

Lina Rodriguez

Remembering loving mother, Laura Ardila


Why We Hike for Hospice

Every year, we come together as a community to honour and remember our loved ones, and raise much-needed funds for Hospice – so we can continue offering the compassionate end-of-life care like we were able to provide to Darlene and her family. Your participation – by hiking yourself, as a team, or simply donating to someone – allows us to continue doing this. Learn more and SIGN UP TODAY by clicking the image below:

2020 Virtual Hike for Hospice


Donations are necessary for helping raise the more than $1.4 million needed each year for St. Joseph’s Hospice to provide exemplary care at no cost for mother’s, father’s, sister’s, and brother’s – families within our community. Thank you for making a difference.

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