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Hospice Austin’s Blog

This year will mark our 19th year of Camp Brave Heart, Hospice Austin’s four-day summer camp for children grieving the loss of someone they love. Over the years we have helped more than 2000 children in our community understand that grief and loss are a common human experience; that they have companions who will walk with them through that rugged landscape; and that they can survive such losses and perhaps even grow in unexpected and beautiful ways. A few years ago a boy named Sam came to camp who I will never forget.

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When Doug was admitted to Hospice Austin a year ago, he was not expected to live long. His condition, while still serious, has improved so much that Hospice Austin happily discharged him recently. A few days ago, Doug embarked on a cross-country road trip with his wife, Sue, and his friend, Jim, in Jim's RV. Along for the ride is also Jim's dog, Chester who, by all accounts, is quite a character.

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Hospice Austin was recently chosen to participate in the Reel Change Film Frenzy, a project sponsored by the nonprofit Lights, Camera, Help whose mission is to help area nonprofits by making mission-driven films that tell their story. Hospice Austin was selected by filmmaker Don Nguyen of ILC Films. Don highlighted the work of nurse practitioner Brian King, who has worked at Hospice Austin for 16 years. To watch the video, please click on the link.

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Hospice Austin’s Christopher House volunteer Gretchen Baker has turned heartache into a passion for helping others near the end of life. Not only does she volunteer at Christopher House twice a week, she’s provided a Thanksgiving Day meal for patients and staff for the past 10 years, organizes an annual Valentine stuffed animal drive, donates prayer shawls from her friends, and does countless other services that let our patients and families know she understands what they’re going through. Here is her story, in her words.

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Today is the day that Keaton died in 2001, just before his 4th birthday. November 23rd: it’s a different experience each year. Sometimes it falls on Thanksgiving, as it was that night. The emotional experience varies each year as well. That it has become easier over the years has made it harder in another way. […]

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