Hospice: Focusing on Life
Kimberli Phillips is the Professional Services Manager and Social Services Coordinator for BSA Hospice of the Southwest. Kimberli holds a degree in social work, and when the opportunity came along for her to work in the hospice field, it wasn’t something she had sought out, but in her words, “Hospice finds you, and it really did find me. When I began working in hospice, I thought I would bless the people I was working with, but I found that they actually blessed me. They changed my life.”
For many people, hospice and the subject of death is something they find difficult to talk about. Saying goodbye to a loved one is never easy, but Olivia’s Angels is there to ease the burden for both the patient and the family through their partnership with BSA Hospice of the Southwest. Olivia’s Angels is a program of Harrington Cancer and Health Foundation whose mission is to enrich the lives of hospice patients by allowing their immediate needs and wishes to be met. “Our mission is to make a positive difference in the lives of our patients and families by providing quality care with compassion and experience, and Olivia’s Angels helps us to do that,” Kimberli says. From providing gift baskets to inpatient families and lodging for out of town families to delivering a special patient request of a burger (with fries and a shake, of course), there are many ways OA is improving the quality of end of life care.
Pictured: Kimberli Phillips, Professional Services Manager/Social Services Coordinator, BSA Hospice of the Southwest
Every donation to Olivia’s Angels from wonderful donors like YOU makes stories like these possible.
Thank you for helping local people live their best life, even at the end of their life.
A Final Visit
“Hospice gives patients the ability to live their life to the fullest. Hospice gives people the freedom of home care and not having to spend hours and hours in doctor’s offices”, Kimberli says. Knowing that he was near the end of his days, one patient had a last wish to visit his daughter and grandchildren, who he had not seen in many years and who lived across the country. YOUR donations to Oliva’s Angels made it possible to grant this wish by purchasing a plane ticket from Amarillo to Seattle and coordinating all of the details to ensure he had a safe trip. When he returned, this gentleman expressed the peace he felt after seeing his family one last time.
Celebration of Love
Kimberli believes hospice is also a place of celebration, and she has seen many celebrations in her time at BSA Hospice of the SW. “Wecelebrate big; we are living life alongside them and really trying to make their journey better,” she says. One in-house hospice patient, Zebbie Peel, had an extraordinary last wish. He and his partner, Lenola, had been in a relationship for 46 years, and his last request was to finally marry his love. Oliva’s Angels learned of Zebbie’s wish and were able to plan, perform, and celebrate this special couple’s marriage. This was made possible by donors like YOU.
Pictured: Mr. and Mrs. Zebbie and Lenola Peel
Recently, there has been a very special hospice patient, little 1-year old Hamda Mead. Hamda’s parents do not speak English and could
not communicate with the doctors and caregivers taking care of their precious baby. YOUR gift to Oliva’s Angels provided a translator who, as an added and unexpected blessing, had been a doctor in the family’s home country and was able to confidently and kindly
communicate with them, providing priceless peace of mind. Although Hamda is not expected to recover, communicating with her doctors has lifted an enormous weight from her parents.
Pictured: Hamda and her mother, Habon
Why I Give by Meaghan Collier
A cancer diagnosis is a curious thing. It’s isolating, terrifying and, at times, hopeless. I know this because doctors have found renal cancer in my dad three different times. The third time wasn’t the charm; it was the worst time. And on Christmas Eve of 2019—a particularly challenging day for Dad– I was waiting to go up the hospital elevator and out walked Ryan Parnell, from 24 Hours in the Canyon. He looked me straight in the eye and said, “Oh no. How’s your dad?” I will never forget that interaction. I felt bad for Ryan because all of the emotions I had stored away just came out all at once. He was a calming force that day and has been a support throughout Dad’s cancer survivorship.
There are organizations all over the country working to support cancer treatment and research, but I am grateful to volunteer for an organization like Harrington Cancer and Health Foundation because it is local. The money we raise stays right here on the High Plains to help my friends, my friends’ kids and people like my dad. The staff at HCHF know us. They are invested in our stories and our well-being.
“We don’t have to do all of it alone. We were never meant to.”– Brené Brown, Rising Strong
HCHF and its programs know what needs we have in our community, and they ﬁnd ways to get those needs met. As the marketing and communications manager for Texas Tech University Health Sciences Center in Amarillo, we’re grateful for the support and partnership of HCHF over the years.
I choose to volunteer with HCHF because I know health care is truly a partnership. While I’ll never be in a lab developing a cutting-edge treatment for cancer or in a clinic treating patients, I know HCHF will ﬁnd a way to help me help others. I’m truly grateful for the support HCHF has provided my family and my community, but I’m also grateful they’ve let me help others along the way as well.
Photo credits to Danielle Cundiff
YOU Have Made an Impact
Statistics show 1 in 8 women will develop breast cancer in their lifetime. Many women in our area are unable to receive the screenings they need due to an inability to pay. YOUR donations to Harrington Cancer and Health Foundation’s Mammography Assistance program have provided mammograms to women in our area, regardless of their ability to pay. Thank you!