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Category Archives: Uncategorized

Season for Caring

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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Finding a Way Through

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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Using All the Colors in the Crayon Box

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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Doug and Sue’s Travel Adventures

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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Making life better for us all

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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Finding My Way Back

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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Nurse Carol Kiehl left an indelible stamp on Hospice Austin. She was a force of nature, a whirlwind of energy and caring. She worked for Hospice Austin for over 10 years, caring for countless patients and mentoring countless staff. We lost her to cancer early this year. Part of Carol’s excellence as a nurse stemmed from her love […]

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A Letter to Doctors

Thank you for the excellent care you have given me. I also appreciate your honesty in letting me know when I had reached a point in my disease where you could no longer make things better. You could have waited until I had only a few weeks – or even days – left before giving me this news, but you didn’t.

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Committed Volunteers Create “A Venetian Affair”

What’s better than hosting a great party? Hosting a great party for a great cause. A small, committed group of women helped produce Hospice Austin’s Vino y Virtuosos party for many years. Now the group has banded back together and is hosting a new event: A Venetian Affair. The Venetian-style party will be held on Thursday, June 4th at the Caswell House on West Avenue from 6:30 – 9:00 pm. Guests will enjoy musicians, magicians, and minstrels strolling through the various rooms of the beautiful old house and experience the revelry of this tradition that stems from the 18th century in Venice. Food, wine, and a silent auction will add to the fun. All proceeds will benefit Hospice Austin.

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Caring for Veterans

As a We Honor Veterans partner, Hospice Austin has implemented ongoing veteran-centered education for staff and volunteers to help improve the care they provide to veterans.

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