E-News September October 2021

Emily’s House / Philip Aziz Centre for Hospice Care
E-Newsletter: September October 2021


Let there be music! And in-person, sing-along gathering good times! 



As COVID restrictions are becoming more flexible, one bright light is that in-person, sing-along music circles are being reintroduced at Emily’s House.


An Update Excerpt from our Medical Director



“The past year has been a year like no other in recent memory, and naturally the pandemic has had a significant impact on Emily’s House as well as the patients and families we serve. While the challenges faced must be acknowledged, it is the resilience and determination that we have shown that is most deserving of attention. Even as things began to slowly open up, most of our families insisted on keeping their medically-fragile children home out of an abundance of caution, but in doing so, their stress and isolation reached new heights. We knew we could help; but we also understood that families felt safest together at home. So, we took Emily’s House to them. We’ve provided virtual support and made physically-distanced visits to countless families over the past year to help them get through these darkest times. We have been reminded this year that Emily’s House is more than a special place.”– from Dr. Adam Rapoport, Medical Director, Emily’s House and Paediatric Advanced Care Team, SickKids Hospital


A Bowling Baby at Emily’s House



The other day when I popped in at Emily’s House, a baby was bowling near the nursing station, with a little “hand-over-hand” help.  A small, cheering crowd included two other medically-fragile children, who were also having a blast.  It was a moment that captured what is special about the Emily’s House Recreation Program. Three children, with wildly varied ages, cognitive ranges, and medical complexities, were entirely immersed in a joyful, shared recreation experience; and supported by a play specialist, nurses, and an intern volunteer adding to the energy. With tremendous thanks to the Lillian Meighen and Don Wright Foundation, our lead funder for recreation, this baby knocked down eight of ten plastic bowling pins.  I’m mixing metaphors here, but … it was a slam-dunk, home run, hat trick of magic, and simply amazing.” – from Jennifer Kroezen, Director of Development 


Testimonial from a mom – on
“Emily’s House Baby Summer Camp”


“We want to say a BIG thank you to all of the nurses, PSWs, and volunteers who have taken such good care of [our daughter], and who make her stays at baby camp super fun!  We really appreciate you being able to get her in there when you have, both for her sake and ours.”


Grief and Bereavement: expanding to serve a wider community



To access Grief and Bereavement supports you do not require a prior client connection to our hospice. Expanded services are now available to the wider community, and new Support Groups will be offered this fall.  The next adult grief support group will begin Tuesday, October 19th via Zoom. Feedback on past programming includes: “I couldn’t get through this without your help.” “You understand when no one else does.” Contact: 416-363-9196, ext. 206 / info@philipzizcentre.ca.





  • Volunteers, Ahoy!  The times are a changing, and so are the ways we appreciate and engage hospice volunteers. A recent “Volunteer Walk ’n talk” included a sea-faring voyage on the Harbourfront boat café.
  • Testimonial from a volunteer regarding visits with her client: "I perform my duties from the bottom of my heart, and I do everything the way I would do it for myself. I am so happy when I see her happy…. We bonded very fast and I'm grateful for that."
  • Learn more about volunteering: www.philipazizcentre.ca/volunteering


The Legacy of Toronto Artist Philip Aziz Continues:  Donor Spotlight



We extend special thanks to Jean Munro, a sister of Philip Aziz, who died earlier this year.  After years of donation support to hospice programs, Munro made a generous donation via her final estate to help continue the good work of hospice care, in honour of her brother’s legacy.  The Aziz family legacy continues to touch so many lives lived fully to the end.  For the Philip Aziz backstory, visit: https://www.philipazizcentre.ca/our-history/


Virtual Hike for Hospice 2021



Hike is done for another year!  We announced $37,284.63 as the total raised for Toronto Hospice Partners: Emily’s House/Philip Aziz Centre and Hospice Toronto.  For EH/PAC, that means $21, 288 is available for hospice programming. Individuals, families and teams participated in this year’s Hike for Hospice.  Some hiked remotely, and others virtually. All were invited to follow clues to Mystery Virtual Photo Walk destinations, and to win exciting prizes. Thank you to participants, donors, volunteers, lead sponsor Mount Pleasant Group, the hike committee, and Brigitte – our 2021 puppet spokesperson for a series of fun Hike promo videos. Although it was a virtual success, we hope to see your faces at a future in-person event! 


Donate Online  



Now, more than ever, as parents are physically isolated at home, and often providing 24/7 care for a medically-fragile child, all hospice supports designed to relieve the strain and bring children joy are desperately needed. For palliative adults at home, phone check-ins, virtual groups, and home-delivery supports can be a lifeline. Your donation can be directed to life-giving hospice programs. To donate online, visit: Donation Page


Keeping in Touch


  For more frequent updates, visit or follow us:


How You Can Help


Donate online today, and support compassionate hospice care in your community:

https://www.philipazizcentre.ca/how-you-can-help/  or  http://www.emilyshouse.ca/donate/


Emily’s House / Philip Aziz Centre for Hospice Care, 558 Gerrard St E Toronto, ON  M4M 1X8. 
To donate, visit: philipazizcentre.ca. Thank you for having a heart for hospice!

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