To the Editor:
I have always been a supporter of our local Grundy Community Volunteer Hospice, and the unwavering strength of director Joan Sereno and her wonderful group of volunteers. Until recently, however, I have never really had the opportunity to witness just how wonderful these volunteers are.
After battling three stage four cancers over the past 6 plus years, my dear friend decided she was no longer fighting, she was done. A person who had always lived life to the fullest, always filled with joy and a great sense of adventure, she mentioned on several occasions she was ready... for the next big adventure.
For personal reasons, she and her family decided to go with the home health care provided by Joliet Hospice, and quickly began a relationship with their nurses, counselors, chaplain, and volunteers.
Unlike the length of her battle, her next adventure came far too quickly, with friends and family visiting more frequently and lingering longer. After work on Wednesday, Aug. 22, I dropped by for a chat and quickly realized that even though she was surrounded by family and dear friends, it was imperative Hospice be called.
Joliet Hospice assured us as soon as a nurse was available, she would be there; at that time she was already out visiting patients in the Joliet area. However, they did not have a Hospice volunteer able to come to the home.
While uncertain what we needed to do, her friends and I knew we needed a volunteer trained in hospice care, and called a personal friend and Grundy Community Volunteer Hospice board member for advice.
Board member Janice Hibler, arrived within minutes of the Joliet Hospice nurse, and took charge of what was very rapidly becoming the end of our dear friends fight.
They both worked hand in hand, helping patient and family, and an hour later our friend was gone. Afterward, they took care of our friend, consoled all who were there, made the necessary phone calls, and were a real Godsend. I was in awe of both of these women, their strength and their compassion. I felt very fortunate to have had the unfortunate need to be in the presence of such angels.
I wanted to share this story with our community, as I am certain many of you know of Hospice, but may never have experienced firsthand what they do. I thought it perfect timing as Grundy Community Volunteer Hospice is holding its annual fundraiser and draw down Saturday, Nov. 3, at the Gardner Hall. For $50 per couple, the ticket is for dinner, drawdown, and the silent raffle, as well as other giveaways. For further information , or to purchase tickets, please contact the Hospice office at (815) 942-8525.
If everyone reading this story would make even a $1 donation to Grundy Community Volunteer Hospice, think of the amount totaled that would be!
I ask next time you need to make a memorial for a loved one, a donation or a gift of money, please think of Hospice.
I have seen first hand what a tremendous impact the volunteers can make during one of life’s most private, and heart wrenching times.