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Hospice Austin’s Blog

Jacob knows more about heartache than any 26-year-old should. His wife, Adriana, died of cervical cancer in August, leaving him to raise Emely, their four-year-old daughter who has Down Syndrome. Last week, Emely was diagnosed with leukemia.

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How do you get over losing a child? You don’t, according to grief therapist Jan Phillips. “You can get through it, but getting over it is impossible,” she said. Jan speaks from experience. Her 17-year-old son, Ian, was killed in an accident overseas while on a summer trip with People to People International. At first she was angry with the organization and its chaperones, then with God. “Why him, this child who had so much promise?” she wondered. “And why me?”

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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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