November 12, 2016

National Hospice and Palliative Care Month

I guess it should come as no surprise that the month of official thanksgiving is also a month to think about the organizations that involve caregiving--folks that top our list of things to be thankful for.

Hospice has a very special place in my journey and in my heart. On his birthday, November 22, 1998, my younger brother, Wesley J. Kline, lost his courageous battle with leukemia. At the time, I didn't know one thing about what to expect as his life came to an end and, sadly, his medical professionals weren't much help. But soon after that very frustrating and confusing experience came the opportunity to serve as a hospice volunteer. One thing led to another, and it turns out that being witness to Wesley's passing was the life-changing moment that led me to my passion for educating others about medical decision making and the meaning of legacy.

It takes very special staff and volunteers to provide quality hospice care. If your community is not as blessed as we in the Des Moines area, I hope you will consider what you can do to address that. Every person--every single one of us--deserves a final chapter that focuses on patient rights, patient values and patient autonomy. God bless our hospice workers.

And Happy Birthday to my brother Wes. He was "one of the good guys."