Christine’s story

It’s like time stands still. You are living in a haze. You try to make the right decisions, to spend quality time, to grieve, and to take care of yourself.”

That’s how Christine felt. She knew her father’s illness, and then her mother’s, was terminal. She knew nothing more could be done. That’s when she learned about palliative care.

Palliative care made all the difference for Christine and her family.

“The doctors, nurses, personal support workers, and volunteers loved my parents without even knowing them. They made my family feel so loved and cared for in an instant. They just knew what needed to be done and they did it. They wrapped their arms around us and took care of all of us.”

As someone who has had to find a way to get walkers, wheelchairs or mattresses, Christine knows what an enormous help it is to have equipment to borrow at this time. She knows what a huge difference your donations for this equipment make!

I would like to invite you to donate to the OutCare Foundation this fall – to help families like Christine’s. Her story illustrates why your support matters.

“When my dad was 18, he had a summer job working in a heavy asbestos plant – long before the true effects of asbestos were known. In 2004, my dad was diagnosed with asbestosis. We were told it would eventually choke him to death, or cause lung cancer. His decline in health was brutal. It wasn’t long before he was put on the transplant list. My dad always loved being #1 at things. Before long he was #1 on the North American transplant list for a pair of lungs. Finally, after several middle of the night, false alarm calls, he got a wonderful new pair of lungs in October 2006. He was back home and in great shape by Christmas that year. 

As is the case with lung transplants, his were very fragile. In January 2010, we were told that he had a bout of infection that couldn’t be treated. He had three wishes from that point on: 1 – To die at home; 2 -To die pain free; 3 – To die with my mom, brother, sister and me at his bedside. I am happy to report that he got all three of his wishes.

The summer of 2015, like every summer, my family and I went to visit my mom in mid-July. The day after we returned home, my mom started feeling sick. A week later, my sister called my brother and me. She said that she had an odd feeling that the tests my mom was going through weren’t going well. She thought that maybe we should come home to be with mom when she got the results. We listened. On August 6, my mom found out she had cancer.

Not to be outdone by my dad, my mom had cancer in her brain, lungs, stomach, blood, bones, kidneys, both breasts, and liver. After calling in various cancer specialists, my mom made the brave decision to do nothing. Six weeks later, on September 16, with my brother, sister and I snuggling her in bed at home, my mom went to join my dad.   

 We were so very fortunate to have the most amazing support. I could go on and on about the many people, organizations, local groups, and volunteers that absolutely surrounded my brother, sister and me as we moved through losing our father when he was only 65 and our mom when she was only 63. Although we were exhausted and grief stricken, we knew that each of our parents had a good death. Palliative care made that possible. If I had to do it all over again, I wouldn’t change a thing.

Christine wanted to share her story because she believes that OutCare’s work is priceless. She is thrilled to support community-based palliative care in Eastern Ontario and hopes that you will too.

When you choose to make a donation to the OutCare Foundation, you choose to offer comfort, compassion and dignity to families like Christine’s.

Thank you for making a difference.

 

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