"Like anybody with cancer, we didn't think it would happen to us." At the end of her father's incredible five-year-long battle with malignant brain cancer, Tanya's family called LightBridge Hospice." At first, when the doctors mentioned hospice care, we were all in denial. We didn't want to accept it was time- we wanted to hold out hope that there was another option." However, at the doctor's urging, and as it became clear that her father's days were coming to a close, Tanya describes the family's decision to call LightBridge as profoundly supportive and invaluable.
"The whole experience of losing someone is really hard and emotional," says Tanya. "The nurses and social workers were there for us throughout the whole process and provided a type of support I didn't know was available." She described a particular moment during her father's end of life journey when she became incredibly anxious as he slipped into unconsciousness from a severe seizure. "I remember one of the nurses near the end - she was there for me. I was asking her tough questions, which she answered and brought me a sense of peace. She was supportive and reminded me that my father's legacy would live on through me; she was amazing." After this discussion, her family knew it was time to say their final goodbyes. "We all gathered around my father and spoke to him one by one, Tanya recalled, and the next day he passed away peacefully in his sleep." It was this profound experience of comfort, empathy, and support that resonated with Tanya and ultimately inspired her to become a hospice volunteer and provide light to others in similar circumstances.
As Tanya came to know, the support provided by the full hospice team is significant to both the patient and their families. Wanting to give back and give the same comfort and support she had received during her father's hospice journey, Tanya became a hospice volunteer. "You should never be alone," said Tanya, "At the end of the day, as a volunteer, you're there for someone and their family, so they're not alone." Tanya described her work volunteering in hospice care as incredibly enriching. "It's amazing to be a hospice volunteer. A lot of times, we tend to think that we're leaving the patient with something, but I've found it is them leaving us with something special."