Lisa Chickering wasn’t sure what to expect when she enrolled her longtime partner, Jeanne Porterfield, in hospice care with VNSNY. It was the year 2010, and Jeanne was in the final stages of a battle with Parkinson’s disease. “I couldn’t tell her, ‘This is hospice,’ because back then we thought hospice spelled doomsday and death,” Lisa recalls.
The hospice services they received from VNSNY completely changed her mind—and inspired Lisa’s generous, ongoing support of our Hospice and Palliative Care program. “The most wonderful people came into our home and brought us peace,” she says. With the eye of a professional photographer who traveled the world and made award-winning documentaries with Jeanne, a journalist, Lisa still carries the visual memory of one of their hospice caregivers. “Her eyes looked like she was looking into heaven.”
Lisa’s giving is motivated in part by a desire to help more people understand what hospice really means. “Hospice does not spell death—it spells love,” she explains. “It spells compassion, kindness, gentleness. Hospice means someone is here to ease your pain.”
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