Aug 29, 2020
Thank you Sponsors!
Aug 2, 2020
Honorary Family for Virtual Memorial Walk
This year’s Honorary Hospice Family for the Memorial Walk the Price Family in honor of 47-year old Merilee Dawn Price who spent 15 days at Bobby’s Hospice in the winter of 2020.
The following is the story of Marilee’s journey as told by her father, Dow Price.
“On December 16, 2013, beautiful, forty-one-year-old daughter/mother, Marilee, was diagnosed with a very aggressive form of brain cancer and was told she may have one-year to live.
This was not our first encounter with this beast. Her mother had had her first encounter with breast cancer. (a second one followed). Her brother had had a battle with a type of leukemia requiring a bone marrow transplant. We had already experienced the wonderful world of Maritime health services, and the true benefit of our Canadian Medicare. It was with an equal measure of fear and faith that we moved foreword; but, as her boys aged nine and eleven watched on, we were all mindful of the severity of the situation.
Marilee was a music teacher in Saint John area schools and lived every day to the fullest. She loved her family, her many friends, her job and life in general. As we met her treatment team at the Saint Regional Hospital, our fears were somewhat diminished. The whole team from the specialists to the folk who cleaned her room served with tenderness and professional confidence. Each visit was a reunion of friends. The parking attendant greeted her warmly, the registration clerks welcomed her with open arms, the desk staff seemed to be waiting to greet her, and the physician visits were a warm and friendly rather than cold and institutional.
As helpful as everyone tried to be, the cold stark facts were that cancer had invaded her young body and it was not leaving. As the days turned into months, and the months turned into years, Marilee experienced a slow and steady decline. She came to require homemakers to help for seven hours of the day and one or both parents were able to be present to cover the rest. As Marilee became less able to do for herself and became unable to communicate, the pressure began to build for all of us
From the beginning, we dreaded the day when Marilee would need to leave her home to be cared for. At home, her boys could come in after school and she could still give them that big warm mother’s hug. Her parents could still tuck her into bed and kiss her goodnight. Finally, the day came when the doctor told us it was time for Hospice. We believed Bobby’s Hospice would be a comfortable place to die.
Throughout her illness, there was NEVER a complaint or a “poor me” comment from Marilee. Her stock reply
to the inevitable question, “how are you today” was usually, “FANTASTIC”. We think that her reward for such positivity was an easy departure and a wonderful family called Bobby’s Hospice.
When we entered those doors, they took our stress away.
The unspoken question that inhabits the place is “how can we serve you better?”
It was not just Marilee who moved to Hospice, but her family moved to Bobby’s.
Again, it was a whole team service. The nursing staff, volunteers, support staff
and the physicians seem to be living out a special calling. They love what they do! They even organized the opportunity for her son to graduate from high school at her bedside.
Her final day was no exception. Her family gathered around and peacefully
watched as the medial staff took their final opportunity to care for her.
After her passing, we were given as much time as we wanted and our final
memory is the honor guard which formed as she passed, covered with the
warmth of a hand made quilt.”
We are forever thankful,
Duncan and Logan Cunningham (Sons) and Marjorie and Dow Price (parents)
Now in its 16th year, the Annual Hospice Memorial Walk will now be a Virtual Event that will take place for the week of September 18-25, 2020 due to Covid-19. Hospice Families will raise funds and gather in their bubbles sometime during that week to walk in memory of loved ones. We also want people to send us photos or a short video that we can post on social media. Our event page will be located on Canada Helps and teams will be able to register there and make electronic donations. We can also accept donations on our website and via e-transfer. Cash and cheques can be dropped off at Bobby’s Hospice during business hours of “Walk Week”. We would like to have all donations collected by 12:00 noon on Friday, September 25th so we can tally everything and make an announcement on social media.
Once again all donations are being matched at 50% by the Bayshore Foundation.
“We are thrilled to once again welcome the Bayshore Foundation as a major sponsor of this event with a donation match. Bayshore has been supporting Hospice for over 15 years. Their help and yours is needed now more than ever as COVID-19 is preventing us from hosting many of our in-person fundraising events,” says Sandy Maxwell, Chief Executive Officer.
Please join us in this Virtual Memorial Walk planned for the week of September 18 – 25, 2020.
Bobby’s Hospice cares for over 200 people each year who need in-patient palliative care and grief support. The NB Government provides an annual grant of $800,000 and Hospice must raise over $1.2M each year from the community to cover the additional costs of care. For more information, visit www.hospicesj.ca or call (506) 632-5593.
Aug 1, 2020
Letter from Chris
It has been 10 years since we opened our doors at Bobby’s Hospice, and I have had the privilege of being Medical Director, and sharing the journey at end of life with countless patients and families.
Care at Bobby’s Hospice is for people who are nearing end of life. Unlike other medical care, the focus of hospice care isn’t to cure the underlying disease, it is to support the highest quality of life possible for whatever time remains. Hospice is a philosophy of health care that focuses on the needs of the patient and care givers by providing comfort, dignity, hope and love at end-of-life. The services provided by our clinical team maximize comfort for our patients by reducing pain and other physical symptoms while addressing their psychological, social and spiritual needs; and we continue to care for family and friends after a death with grief support.
Thank you to our staff, volunteers and our Board of Directors for your compassion, dedication and teamwork. Thank you also to our Greater Saint John community for your ongoing support. It is because of each and every one of you that we have been able to deliver on our Vision/Mission and care for 122 patients during this past fiscal year, our occupancy rate at 95%. We are always guided by, and do our best to achieve our Mission:
“Compassionate Care that Celebrates Life”
In March of 2020 Covid 19 became our new reality. Who could have ever imagined our world as we know it would be so drastically changed. The Pandemic impacted each and every one of us, and had a marked impact on Bobby’s Hospice in countless ways, including our model of patient care delivery and our financial stability. We are so grateful and proud of our staff for going above and beyond the call of duty during this unprecedented and terrifying time. Their courage, and determination allowed us to remain open, at full capacity. Their diligence in following Covid 19 rules, despite the physical and emotional toll, kept our staff/patients free of Covid 19 infection.
We soon realized that our quick response to Covid 19, although necessary to ensure the safety of patients, families and staff, had unintended consequences on our model of care, our Mission. Wearing masks, physical distancing, limiting visitors, increased sterilization and all other necessary measures we had to adopt, sadly left a void in emotional support and compassion. The inability to give a hug, hidden facial expressions due to masks, absence of many loved ones due to visitor restrictions and the absence of volunteers to give that little extra, have all left their toll on patient’s families and staff. Another unexpected and serious consequence will be complex grief.
We are on our way back, easing restrictions and reopening with caution. It is great to have more friends and families in our home. We have been working together with Hospices of Atlantic Canada to revisit how we will handle future waves of Covid 19, putting compassion and care at the top of the agenda.
Bobby’s Hospice is a “Not for Profit” organization, and we are so thankful to our Provincial Government for funding support. Our reality is however, the need to raise another 1.2 million annually and thanks to the generosity of our donors/supporters we have been able to meet our target the past 10 years. Covid 19 has severely affected donations in the nonprofit world and now more than ever we need you and your support both financially and as the cheer leaders you have always been for Bobby’s Hospice.
Dr. Chris O’Brien
May 6, 2020
SUMMER BBQ’S CANCELLED
The Covid-19 global pandemic has altered everything we know, and do, in our daily lives and routines. Nothing is as we once knew it, and while we all wish and want some normalcy to return to society, it seems as though that time is still further off in the future. We have made the extremely difficult decision to cancel this years BBQ season. We will miss seeing each and everyone of you.
Take care of yourselves, & those you love and care about.