Today is WORLD AIDS DAY, a time for us to commemorate those who lost their lives too soon. It is also a day to raise awareness and continue to remind the world and our governments that we must keep up the momentum in our fight for the 38 million people currently living with HIV. Today as we celebrate all that has been accomplished nationally and internationally, we must also examine all that still needs to be done.
As many of you are aware, Philip Aziz Centre Hospice legacy reaches back to a man who was cared for by a small community church in the final months of his battle with an AIDS-related illness. This act of human kindness, compassion and justice expressed in the midst of stigma and fear, launched the beginnings of what was then a small community visiting hospice providing care and support for persons living with AIDS, to what we are today.
Lena Soje, our Social Worker, is this year’s keynote speaker at an AIDS virtual event, hosted by AIDS services organizations across our province. Lena is a long-time advocate for justice and equity for people living with HIV, and has been recognized by many in the field as an expert and passionate voice.
Here is an excerpt from her speech today:
“Today is world AIDS day. And the theme for this year’s symposium is Global Solidarity and Shared Responsibility. For me, global responsibility means to recognize each individual as part of humanity, regardless of his or her racial background, sexual orientation, gender or HIV status. It is about social justice and it is about not leaving anyone behind. It is also about our shared responsibilities in making sure that every person living with HIV has access to resources, services and support. It is about working in partnership to ensure that services are accessible.”CATIE-Cascade-Infographic-ENG-Final-WEB
Our Emily’s House children’s hospice “stepped up.” By committing to temporarily provide care for palliative adults, our team freed up eight hospital beds at Michael Garron Hospital for COVID-19 patients, reserving two beds for paediatrics from Sick Kids Hospital for end-of-life care. We also continued, through our Philip Aziz Centre for Hospice Care, to safely provide modified hospice supports for children and adults, including Music Therapy, Recreational, Respite, Social Work Support, and Bereavement Care, while responding to emerging client care needs in crisis.
To view the full report: Covid-19 Response Client Impact Report: Compassionate Palliative Care During a Pandemic, Emily’s House / Philip Aziz Centre for Hospice Care (PAC), March 15 – October 15, 2020:
Client Impact Highlights:
Total # of clients and immediate family members who benefited (Mar 15 – Oct 15, 2020) = 1,844
As part of our Covid-19 response, 357 volunteers served 5,000+ hours, and contributed the equivalent of $121,000+ economic value in hospice care supports in the GTA.
The sister of an adult patient wrote: “Emily's House took my sister in amid a world cruelly defined by COVID-19. The time my sister spent in Emily's House was made less frightening, and much brighter, because of all of you. Your smiles, your compassion, your gentle persuasions, the light-hearted moments you shared with her, the self-less care you lavished on her, these images enfold my heart, just as I wish I could wrap each one of you in an embrace of love and thankfulness that you could carry with you into your shining futures.”
Read Ava’s story at: http://www.emilyshouse.ca/our-stories/.
Amazon – we do not have a gift registry this year, but if you donate online via Amazon, please direct donations to the following email address: firstname.lastname@example.org to be delivered to: 558 Gerrrard St E, Toronto, ON M4M 1X8.
Timelines – ideally, gifts and donations should arrive by Wednesday, December 9, so the pop-up gift event can be organized and families scheduled.
Thank you, Merry Christmas and happy holidays to you!
Thank you for your interest in helping. You can make miracles out of minutes for children and adults with life-limiting illness, and entire families in need of compassionate hospice supports. Please donate today.
When you give the gift of hospice, your donation might translate into:
Give the gift of hospice:
$25 – Music Therapy / Recreation: A $25 gift could be the equivalent of one hour of Music / Art Therapy or Recreation Programming for a child or youth. Really, this is a gift of joy!
$50 – Outings / Adventures: A $50 donation could enable a community outing or adventure (i.e., movie, excursion fees plus wheelchair accessible transportation for needed respite).
$75 – Grocery Gift Cards / Benevolent Fund: Over 50 families in our programs experience financial insecurity, and welcome practical support, like food and gas. Gift cards are always needed. A donation of $75 could purchase three gift cards.
$100 – Support for Families / Individuals: To encourage improved mental health and wellbeing outcomes, our psychosocial supports include patient advocacy, counselling, facilitated groups, grief / bereavement, spiritual care and referrals for specialized care. A $100 donation could impact an entire family!
$300 – Volunteers: A donation of $300 could train one new hospice volunteer to provide compassionate care, companionship and / or play. Our Volunteer program supports children, adults, families, food / groceries, gardening, transportation, and helps augment other critical hospice care delivery. (For more information on our Volunteer Program, visit: https://www.philipazizcentre.ca/volunteering/).
$500 – Legacy Work: Legacy work is a cornerstone of paediatric palliative care. Families can choose from a range of activities, events and keepsakes that we customize to the memory of their child, with lasting therapeutic / healing benefits. The cost of Legacy Programming to support one family at Emily’s House averages $300 to $500.
$1,000 – A Day of Care at Emily’s House: A Day of Care at Emily’s House children’s hospice includes 24 hours of physician-supervised clinical care in our hospice home, recreation, and quality-of-life therapies for a child with a life-limiting illness and complex care needs, plus in-house supports for the entire whole family.
$5,000-$500,000+ – Medical Equipment / Resources (Annually): The Emily's House Clinical Program is the main “lifeline” of our palliative care programs at approximately 61% of our annual operating budget. Beyond doctors, nurses and clinical care staff, the program budget includes medical supplies, medical gases, acquisition / maintenance of adaptive equipment that makes the bedrooms and facilities accessible for children and youth with limited mobility and complex medical needs, and high-quality controls to minimize risks to our vulnerable children clients.
$_______ Any Amount of Your Choice: When you donate a gift of any amount of your choice, it will be directed where the need is greatest.
To be reminded of the kind of impact your support makes:
With your help, children, adults and families will have access to family time, making new memories, psychosocial supports … quality of life. They will find the opportunity to embrace the gift of each day.