Donna is a survivor and an inspiration to us all. She has been through much turmoil in her life – more than any one person should be subject to. In 1998, Donna was in a horrific car crash. In the weeks following, there were multiple moments when the hospital staff and her family thought she wouldn’t make it. Against all odds, her indomitable spirit pushed her through.
She was told she may never walk again, but she did. Not only could she walk, but she could sing, dance, act silly and even – laugh. Her accident and recovery changed her not just physically, but gave her lightness of heart, leading her to surround herself with those people who would accept her for what she had always been; a loving, vivacious creature who would, from now on, only seek the gentle and pleasant side of life.
Years later, and the physical realities of Donna’s ordeal began catching up with her. She is back in a wheel chair, as mobility is not easy. Her husband Stephen has been an incredible support for her, but with her added burden of terminal cancer, Donna’s strength of spirit waned. She became a recluse. She felt she had nowhere to go and felt alone within herself.
Two years ago, Donna was introduced to the CHSLC Hospice Day Program. Here, she met people like herself, suffering life-threatening illness. These people – who have become like family to her – are always willing to share and listen. Similarly, she has met “some of the warmest, most caring counsellors” who go out of their way to help her.
Each week, Donna looks forward to sharing a meal with good friends and participating in the fun activities planned for them. She also takes advantage of CHSLC’s foot care services and is visited in her home by a hospice volunteer.
Donna spoke at the 2016 Hike for Hospice, where she rallied support for the program. “I could go on and on about the love and support we have all received – so let us give our community support team a great big thank you!” She went on to declare that, “Hospice matters. The end of life deserves as much beauty, care and respect as the beginning.” We couldn’t agree more.