Our mission is to provide medically supervised and supported end of life wishes to patients in the region who are facing a terminal diagnosis. Through granting wishes we hope to assist people to live with the terminal illness, REFRAME HOPE and enhance their quality of life until their death.
The Impact of a Wish
End of life wishes aren’t overly complicated. We anticipate them to be examples of things we see every day in this line of work: a request for a specific flavor of ice cream, to have a loved one flown in for a visit from out of country, to be able to go home one last time to see their garden, to have a visit from a beloved pet, to safely spend one last night at the cottage, to celebrate the anniversary/birthday/Christmas a few weeks early…Sometimes all it takes is permission to ask and the right group of motivated people to make it happen.
The summer before medical school I worked as a counsellor at a camp for children affected by childhood cancer. One of my campers was a 4 year old named Alexa. She had had a brain tumour removed and was still recovering when she came to camp. Her mobility was limited and her eye sight was affected, but her spirit never wavered. Her very favourite thing to do was arts and crafts, and one day we were (very slowly) walking across the main lawn to get to the arts and crafts building when Alexa spotted a dandelion. She stopped, crouched down and picked it up, admiring its fragility and beauty. I told her that if she made a wish and blew as hard as she could all of the little seeds would scatter and make her wish come true. She sat on the grass and thought and thought about her wish before blowing with all of her might. When she eventually grabbed my hand again to continue the walk I asked her, in a whisper, if she would share with me what she had wished for …”Yes!” she beamed excitedly, “I wished we could go to Arts and Crafts!”
Wishes don’t have to be overly complicated. Sometimes it’s the very simplest thing that can make all of the difference.
-Dr. Alyssa Boyd