our summer At Your Door

Summer 2014
Message from the
Executive Director
Welcome to the
summer edition
of At Your Door.
We’ve had an
exciting 25th year
at Hospice Toronto,
and we were able
to end on a high
note with our TD
presents There’s No
Place Like Home gala event in February.
Last edition we stopped to reflect on
the 25 years Hospice Toronto has served Eleanor McCain and Matt Dusk perform at There’s No Place Like Home (photo: Glenn Bell)
members of the Toronto community.
Now, like how this spring’s flowers
slowly but surely bloomed, we look to
Last year alone, Hospice Toronto supported 1,175 individuals
how Hospice Toronto can grow in the
future. With the Unifor presents 12th Annual Hike for Hospice either living with a life-threatening illness or at end-oflife, also impacting the lives of over 5,000 family members
recently enjoyed, and many upcoming opportunities to get
and friends. Responding to promote access for Toronto’s
involved with, Hospice Toronto is excited to begin our next
multicultural climate, we now have capacity to serve clients in
25 years as leaders providing palliative care to the Toronto
29 different languages and have introduced our community
development based “Creating Caring Communities” program
With our healthcare system increasingly straining under the
growing weight of an aging population and struggling to
There are so many ways to get involved with Hospice Toronto!
cope with the rise in chronic illnesses, the need for home
Whether you are interested in helping our clients and their
hospice palliative care in Toronto is greater than ever before.
caregivers with daily chores, engaging our Young Carers in
One day, we will all require care giving or be required to
a fun group setting, or even lending a hand at one of our
provide care for a loved one. With the overall need for home
special events throughout the year, there is always a place for
hospice palliative care and support intensified by our rapidly
you here at Hospice Toronto. Contact us at 416-364-1666 to
aging population, home hospice care is no longer simply
learn more about how you can get more involved.
about respecting a person’s wish to remain at home.
When Hospice Toronto was first established, the primary
focus was to provide people with end-of-life, home hospice
palliative care and support. Increasingly each year, we find
ourselves serving clients who, while they may still have
years to live, are living with chronic illness that requires
considerable support to remain independently at home:
people living with ALS (Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis or Lou
Gehrig’s Disease), HIV/AIDS, Alzheimer’s, cancer, congestive
heart failure, and complications arising from diabetes. Chronic
illness has become a new priority in home hospice care, and
we are adjusting our services to reflect those needs.
Now is a time to look towards the future with hope. Hospice
palliative care is evolving to find better ways to support our
loved ones and their caregivers, and to do this as valued
partners in an increasingly integrated healthcare system.
As always, we love hearing your stories, feedback, and input.
If you have a story idea, comment, question, or suggestion,
please email us at [email protected]
Dena Maule
Executive Director
Hospice Toronto
Event recaps: There’s No Place Like Home
Client Story; Faces of Hospice: Sybil Wilkinson 3
Spotlight on Young Carers
Why I Give: Steve Nardi;
Legacy and Planned Giving Circle of Distinction winners 5
Steve Nardi, Olivia Chow, Eleanor McCain and Pierre Campeau
at There’s No Place Like Home
On February 20th, 2014, at Toronto’s Bram and Bluma
Appel Salon, over 300 guests and volunteers joined Hospice
Toronto to celebrate 25 years of volunteer, home hospice
care and palliative care and support. This year’s Honorary
Chair, Eleanor McCain, wowed the crowd with her vocal
talents and invited surprise guest Matt Dusk to share
the stage. Gala MC Carla Collins acted as the evening’s
congenial host, backed by the talented gene pool boys.
Special guest and Toronto mayoral candidate Olivia Chow
shared her own personal experiences with palliative care,
OVER $47,000!
by Richard DeLisle
and Hospice Toronto volunteers were honoured for their
service. Hospice Toronto thanks all of the event’s guests
and generous sponsors - including presenting sponsor
TD Canada Trust - for making the 25th Anniversary Gala a
huge success! Over $70,000 was raised, making this year’s
event one of Hospice Toronto’s best fundraisers to date, all
in support of future groundbreaking, compassionate
in-home care from Hospice Toronto.
Photos by Glenn Bell.
See more at facebook.com/hospicetoronto.
This past May, thousands of Canadians across the country took part in the
national Hike for Hospice movement, including participants in the Unifor presents
12th Annual Toronto Hike for Hospice in support of Better Living Health and
Community Services, Hospice Toronto and Philip Aziz Centre / Emily’s House.
A family-focused community event for all ages, this year’s Hike featured fabulous
prizes for top fundraisers, live music, a barbecue, and the choice of participation
in the 5 km or 2 km leisure walk in historic Cabbagetown. The annual Toronto
Hike for Hospice offers not only an opportunity to raise awareness and funds, but
it’s also a time to celebrate, remember, and hike on behalf of a loved one. This
year, Hospice Toronto raised over $15,000 towards its programs (with over $47,000
raised in total by all the participating hospices).
With the $15,000 raised by Hospice Toronto, using our Buy The Hour calculation of
about $25 to provide one hour of in-home hospice palliative care, that’s 600 hours
of support for people living with life-threatening illness, and their caregivers
and loved ones. Hospice Toronto thanks everyone who generously donated their
support to making this year’s Toronto Hike for Hospice such a success.
Hospice Toronto staff and volunteers
celebrate a successful Hike for
Hospice. See you next year!
The 12th annual Toronto Hike for Hospice was hosted by Richard Ryder (103.9
PROUD FM and OUTtv), with music provided by Danny Marks. Generous support
was provided by Presenting Title Sponsor, Unifor; Media Sponsor, 103.9 PROUD
FM; and Partner Sponsors WestJet, Toronto Necropolis Mount Pleasant Visitation
Centre, the Duke of Richmond Pub, Artik, GreedyGiver, Nature’s Path, Starbucks
Coffee, Steve’s Music Store and Warner Bros. Entertainment Canada.
by Siobhan McPartland
Bridget and her husband Mark live with their daughters Lily
and Ruby in a purple house on a quiet, tree-lined street in
downtown Toronto. Bridget spends her time in an upstairs
bedroom, confined to her bed as a result of chordoma, a
rare cancer that affects the spinal cord. Hospice Toronto
social work intern Siobhan McPartland visited Bridget and
her family to find out how Hospice Toronto has made a
difference to them. Bridget emphasizes that her family’s
well-being is paramount for her peace of mind. Her illness
not only impacts her own daily living, but also affects her
family significantly.
Becoming housebound meant that Bridget gave up her
own regular activities, including accompanying her two
young daughters to school and extracurricular activities
and events. Despite challenges, Bridget has maintained her
contagious positivity. “It is easy to get caught up in the
negative,” she says, “and we need the Hospice Toronto
programs to lift us up.”
Hospice Toronto is one of the few organizations that “comes
to you,” notes Bridget. She appreciates that Hospice Toronto
staff and volunteers recognize that her illness compromises
her ability to engage in basic and fundamental activities, and
that she feels isolated from her community at times. Hospice
Toronto helps to ease her feelings of isolation, an experience
common to individuals coping with illness.
by Katie Saunoris
Bridget and family.
(photo: Siobhan
In-home, Reiki,
and expressive arts
volunteers have been
visiting Bridget on a
weekly basis since September 2013. Arnie and Jacky, in-home
volunteers, have enabled Bridget to stay connected through
poetry, conversation, meditation and even Karaoke. Jennifer,
an expressive arts therapist, and Sonja, a Reiki practitioner,
made it possible for Bridget to continue practices that she had
previously enjoyed outside of her home. Bridget notes that her
Hospice volunteers always adjust their visits in consideration of
how Bridget feels at any given time, and that they demonstrate
compassionate understanding of her illness.
Bridget’s children have benefitted from programs offered by
Hospice Toronto’s Young Carers Program. Over the winter
holidays, the entire family enjoyed two nights at the Royal
York Fairmont Hotel, courtesy of the hotel’s annual Room at
the Inn program. Bridget also spoke of her appreciation for
the ways in which Hospice Toronto staff and volunteers have
helped her to take the guilt away from being sick. Bridget
shares that when Client Services Coordinator Noni visited and
took the time to figure out what she needed, she felt truly
heard. The kind and caring approach of Hospice Toronto staff
and volunteers has been central in their support for Bridget
and her family, helping Bridget feel happy and healthy.
volunteer work with Hospice as a drop
in the bucket compared to what I’ve
received. I’m incredibly in awe of the
support and respectfulness of the staff,
of the entire organization.”
When she isn’t
assisting her Hospice
clients, Sybil is
incredibly active
in the Toronto
arts community
volunteering her time
at the Art Gallery of
Ontario and Harbourfront Centre and
supporting a project at Tarragon Theatre
aimed at getting more visible minority
youth to be part of the audience on an
ongoing basis. She has logged over 35
years as an active volunteer, including
her time with Hospice Toronto.
Like many Hospice Toronto volunteers,
Sybil Wilkinson first heard about Hospice
“Hospice Toronto is special because we go
Toronto when a loved-one needed
into the client’s homes. We don’t make
in-home care. “In 1996 my sister was
the choices in someone’s care - we are
diagnosed with late-stage cancer, and I
called, and we’re there to give any help
was referred to Hospice Toronto,”says
and assistance possible. It’s not about
Sybil. “I couldn’t believe such an
judgment - they reach out and we’re
organization even existed, and that a
there to help them. Every volunteer is
team could be pulled together so quickly
specially trained and support is given
to help our family. It was amazing to
by the Hospice Toronto staff and
see the quality of service the volunteers
consultants as necessary.”
gave, the physical and emotional support,
“I’ve worked with incredibly wonderful
Sybil believes that working as a Hospice
the comfort level they provided...it’s
Hospice clients. It’s very fulfilling to
volunteer has revealed valuable life
still overwhelming to talk about.” After
give back and I feel so privileged to be
lessons.“Being an in-home volunteer has
experiencing the kindness and care of
part of someone’s care. Volunteering
Hospice Toronto’s services, Sybil decided to taught me how meaningful death is to
for me has taken the fear of death away,
every single one of us. As a volunteer, I
undergo Hospice volunteer training and
especially having seen people dying, and
realize that declining health, and death,
became an in-home volunteer in 1997.
they aren’t dying angry. I am there with
is part of life, and all of my clients have
them as a volunteer, but I feel they’ve
“After my sister died, it became - and
taught me lessons about the acceptance
helped me by sharing their lives. I’m not
remains - my commitment to give back
of illness and how to deal with illness
giving, I’m getting a lot more than
to Hospice Toronto in some way. I see my with dignity.”
I could ever give.”
An overlooked group of children and youth in Canada are starting to realize that they have a name and are not alone.
Although the term ‘young carer’ is relatively new to North America, 12% of all children under the age of 18 in Canada are
in a significant care giving role for a family member due to a sibling, parent or grandparent having an illness, disability,
mental illness, addiction or language barrier (Charles, Marshall & Stainton, 2010). These children and youth take on a
variety of physical, personal and emotional care giving responsibilities. They are found in the home, in health care waiting
rooms or at their family member’s side, rather than at school, at a friend’s house or on the soccer field. Often times, focus
and attention is on the individual with the illness or condition and this lacking of community supports leave the needs of
the child in the home unmet and the role they play unrecognized.
The Young Carers Program at Hospice Toronto has been working to give young carers in the Greater Toronto Area the
recognition and support they need. Through the work done with families in providing home hospice palliative care over
the last 25 years, Hospice Toronto recognized that the needs of young people affected by their family member’s condition
were often overlooked.
Since its implementation in 2010, Young Carers programs have been working to restore balance and increase psychosocial
health. Based on the UK model, programs promote stress relief and relaxation, self-expression, and coping skill
development and resiliency, while providing a break from their caring roles. For many, this is the first opportunity children
have had to express their feelings and worries. Programs range from monthly Special Events, to social-therapeutic
programs and workshops, to medical play and education. The YCP also runs a program just for sibling carers, and bi-annual
Day Camps where up to 30 young carers come together for friendship, fun and learning, while being reminded that they
are not alone.
The Young Carers Program further recognizes older youth with the Youth Champions Committee, which engages current
or prior young carers aged 16-24 with an interest in creating awareness and using their personal experience to help guide
the program. As well as programs, YCP staff act as resources, advocates and supports for parents and their child where
they need it the most. This includes in school where young carers are sometimes struggling due to their complex care
giving role. Child participants in the program state that they no longer feel alone; that they did not realize that there was
a positive side to being a carer, and that “at the YCP it is normal to talk about things at home because all the kids here
understand.” Parents state that their children have been doing better in school socially and academically since starting the
program and it has reduced the family’s overall stress level by having support for their child. On a national level, Hospice
Toronto’s executive director is the co-chair of Young Carers Canada and together with colleagues across the country we
are moving forward the agenda of young carers. This is an important step in ensuring that children and youth will get
the supports and services they need to thrive as young people in special circumstances. To find out more about the Young
Carers Program, visit www.ycptoronto.weebly.com or contact us for more information:
Natalie Wilson, MA, CCLS
Manager of Programs, Young Carers Program, [email protected]
by Molly Freeman
Remembering Hospice Toronto
with a bequest – providing a
future gift in your will – is a lasting
testimony to the unwavering
generosity of our donors that will
help us continue to provide home
hospice palliative care and support
for people living with serious
illness or at end-of-life, and their
caregivers and loved ones.
Hospice Toronto accepts gifts of
cash and securities, as well as other
financial instruments such as life
insurance and charitable annuities.
Steve Nardi and Dena Maule at There’s No Place Like Home
(photo: Glenn Bell)
In 1995, Steve Nardi got the phone call that changed his life…
His partner Aurele was dying of AIDS at only 38 years old, and Steve wanted
to give Aurele the peaceful last days at home that he wished for above
all else. A friend reached out to Hospice Toronto on his behalf, and soon
Steve received a call from a Client Service Coordinator offering help. “I was
overcome with emotion, in disbelief that a stranger would offer such help”,
Steve recalls. “For someone to come into our home, not judging, only to help
during Aurele’s final journey…the kindness was overwhelming.”
In 1997 Steve began volunteering with Hospice Toronto, and hasn’t looked
back. As a board member, committee member, and Hike for Hospice
participant, Steve has worked hard to bring awareness to Hospice Toronto.
He has also contributed as a monthly donor since 2011. “Over the past 17
years, I’ve watched Hospice Toronto grow, and have seen how people’s lives
have been changed by the services offered to families free of charge”, says
Steve. “By donating, I want to help plan for the future. With today’s aging
population, people need to know about us.”
“Hospice Toronto has made a tremendous impact on my life,” he says. “They
were there for me during such a difficult time, and that is something I can
never forget and never fully repay. And that’s why I support this organization
in any way I can.”
Talk to your family and seek expert
financial advice.
When considering a legacy gift,
we recommend that you seek
advice from professional financial
advisors and discuss the matter
with your family. Furthermore,
because Canadian tax law changes
frequently, there may be tax
advantages to the way you make
a gift to charity in your will.
Be sure to consult a trusted
financial adviser if you would like
to maximize the tax benefits of a
legacy gift.
To request to speak with someone
at Hospice Toronto about
monthly donations, planned giving,
or to share the news of your gift
with Hospice Toronto,
please contact us at
The newsletter of Hospice Toronto
At this year’s gala the Board of Directors was
pleased to induct two new members into the
Hospice Toronto Circle of Distinction, which
honours individuals and organizations who have
demonstrated an exemplary commitment to the
ideals of hospice and palliative care. This year,
the Circle of Distinction Award was conferred to
Lorri Thompson and Brian Glasspoole. Lorri has
been an active supporter of Hospice Toronto for
the past 10 years, having served on the Board
of Directors, as Board Secretary for 8 years and
Circle of Distinction
Chair of the Governance Committee. Lorri has
winners Brian Glasspoole
been an ardent supporter of our Hike for Hospice
and Lorri Thompson
efforts, annually raising dollars and awareness of
the hospice services and she places among the top fund-raisers each year. Her
continued contribution to Hospice Toronto helps to ensure the community has
access to a caring, compassionate choice. Brian has served the organization for
12 years, including 10 years on the Board of Directors serving as Treasurer for
one term and President for three terms, plus Chair of the Fund Development &
Communications Committee. In addition to volunteering, Brian’s commitment
to Hospice Toronto is evidenced by his many contributions to the organization’s
financial health and sustainability through personal giving, facilitating in securing
grant funding and sponsorship support from TD, and record-setting fundraising
for the Hike for Hospice. Congratulations and thank you, Lorri and Brian!
2221 Yonge Street, Suite 400
Toronto, ON M4S 2B4
Tel: 416.364.1666 | Fax: 416.364.2231
[email protected] | hospicetoronto.ca
Charitable Registration Number: 13881 5618 RR0001
Executive Director
Dena Maule
Hospice Toronto Editorial Advisors
Richard DeLisle, Belinda Marchese,
Steve Nardi, Noni Regan, John Wong
Katie Saunoris
Copy Editor
Helena Kyriakou
Molly Freeman, Siobhan McPartland,
Natalie Wilson
Thank you to Bridget, Steve and Sybil for
generously sharing with At Your Door.
Thank you to 12thirteen Design Inc.
(12thirteen.com) for graphic design and
to Q-Print (qprint.ca) for printing services.