There is a place online that is a home for inspirational stories, insights and helpful information about the end of life – it’s our blog, Sharing Our Journey.
Each week, patients, their families, community members, JourneyCare volunteers and team members share their stories online, so that they might help others facing serious illness or grief by offering their real-life wisdom.
If you haven’t visited sharingourjourney.org, read on to explore samples of what you are missing. And if you have read our blog, have you shared your own story that connects you to JourneyCare? We would love to hear it!
In one of the most vulnerable times in a human’s life, an admission nurse has the professionalism and possibility to change a patient’s and family’s understanding of terminal illness and present them with an option of comfort. The thought that I can participate and be present at those life-changing moments is indescribable. Being masterful in explaining the diagnosis and how hospice can make a difference in a patient’s quality of life is vital to the success of the hospice experience. I’m grateful to have the opportunity every day.
— Teresa Monteagudo, Integrated Admissions Nurse
Our mission presents unique challenges. Unlike most medicine, you cannot “fix” the patient with prescriptions or surgery. Instead, our doctors must practice humanity just as much as we practice medicine. We also have the pleasure of a unique level of collaboration with other members of JourneyCare’s clinical teams: nurses, certified nursing assistants, social workers, chaplains and other professionals. This team approach is what makes hospice and palliative medicine so special. We are all working together to help manage patient symptoms and help many face the end of life in peace. That is truly rewarding.
— Dr. Mark Grzeskowiak, MD, HMDC, Vice President of Medical Services
My beloved late husband, who died November 11, 2014, was in the care of JourneyCare in our home for the last four days of his life. Coming from Serbia, neither one of us knew much about this health service, except that we were both scared by the word “hospice!” We associated it with the end of life and we were both horrified. My Marko died peacefully in the comfort of our home, per his last wish. And people from this hospice were there, right by his bedside. It meant the world to me, a wife who was heartbroken, lost, sad and confused. At that moment I made a promise to myself: If I ever recover from my loss, I will help people in need.
— Mila Filipovic, volunteer
When you have passion for what you do, it’s easy to find comfort in your work. It gives me great pleasure to serve the people within my community. If I can put a smile on someone’s face each day, that makes my life worth living.
— Gloria May, Certified Nursing Assistant
The most meaningful moment for me happened after the ceremony when a resident approached me and Alan to thank us forour work with JourneyCare. She explained that her husband passed two years ago and he spent eight months in hospice. She could not say enough good things about how everyone from hospice, but especially the volunteers, made that period bearable not only for her husband and her, but for the entire family including the grandchildren. It was a touching moment that brought a tear to everyone’s eye. It also served as a reminder why our work is so valuable and worthwhile. I am often asked why I volunteer for JourneyCare. It is quite simple. Helping veterans and their loved ones make their remaining time together memorable brings great joy to all … especially me!
— Rick Davis, veteran volunteer
I look forward to this spring, when I will graduate high school. As part of my studies this year, we were assigned a project that explores what careers we would like to go into when we are adults. I chose nursing, because I hope someday to work in hospice care so that I can help other families who are having the same experience as we did with my mom. Until then, I am here as a daughter sharing my story in hopes of bringing other families comfort, especially families who are unaware of hospice or unsure of it. I want them to know how much it helped my mom and our entire family, so that it might help them too.
— Ciarra Federspiel, patient daughter