2020 Hike for Hospice Goes Virtual
By Rick Di Lorenzo

The Townsend-Smith Hospice Foundation took its annual Hike for Hospice online. On September 26 participants had a chance to walk, run, bike 5km to help raise funds for a 10-bed residential hospice in North Halton.

“It’s vital for the community to come together,despite the obstacles to help bring the hospice to a reality. The community is in need of this facility, and nothing will stop the organization from moving forward with your help.” says John Barrett, Board Chair.

The Townsend-Smith Hospice Foundation encouraged participants to take part from wherever they decide to do so. Help us build community support in spite of the distance. People posted pictures of their hike using the hashtag #hikeforhospice and filmed short videos finishing the sentence “I’m hiking because,” to share on social media.

Local Miltonian Victoria Hughes was the top fundraiser successfully raising a total of $7,650 as part of her 10 km hike on Saturday. This brought the grand total to $15,955 as of our print deadline that has been raised so far.

Ms. Hughes gave us her answer to why she is hiking for a hospiace.

“Building a hospice for North Halton is a cause very close to my heart. My dad was diagnosed with Stage IV cancer in 2013, and within months, was admitted to the hospital. Everything happened so quickly, it was really hard to distill information from doctors and the answers were not obvious, but the finality of the cancer was.Hospitals are not residential palliative care facilities (hospices) and so we tried our best to make my dad’s room less cold, more homey, we brought in our family dog for a visit, and we advocated for pain management, a private room and to get into a hospice. Sadly, my dad’s cancer was aggressive and the hospice wait-list long; he never saw hospice care, passing away a few days after Christmas 2013.”

“The need for hospice care is increasing and if you have already been touched by a loved ones’ passing, you know this need is very real and complicated. Dying is a part of living and as we die, we are still the same person, and that person needs their family, friends and community.”

The Townsend-Smith Foundation’s mission is to provide access to palliative care for residents of Milton and Halton Hills, serving the needs of terminally ill people and their families. Because every individual needs access to a dignified and caring end of life journey.

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