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Posts tagged: Hospice

McGovern In Hospice Care

In this April 18, 2009, file photo former Sen. George McGovern delivers remarks at the National World War II Museum in New Orleans. Ann McGovern, the former senator's daughter, said Wednesday, it's a blessing that she and other family members are able to surround her father as he declines in hospice care in South Dakota. (AP Photo/Bill Haber, File)

I’ve had the fortune – mostly good and a little bad at times – to have lived all my adult life in two states where Democrats have become endangered species – South Dakota and Idaho. The news this week that former South Dakota U.S. Senator George McGovern is in the last days of his 90 years is a reminder once again that even given our nasty, polarized, hyper-partisan politics one man can have an impact. The fact that McGovern, an unabashed liberal, made his impact for so many years in South Dakota, a state almost as conservative as Idaho, is remarkable. No less remarkable than the long runs of Idaho Democrats Frank Church and Cecil Andrus/Marc Johnson, The Johnson Report. More here.

Question: What will be McGovern's legacy?

End Notes: Killebrew Heads Home

Harmon is heading for home. Harmon Killebrew - Baseball Hall of Famer with 573 home runs - is making his way toward home for the last time. He announced last week that he is seeking hospice care after fighting esophageal cancer. As a Minnesota-grown girl, my Minnesota Twins hero was Harmon Killebrew . And I have a 1967 scrapbook that says so. The Killebrew family also lived in our neighborhood for a brief time. We met when their family dog ran away from home and everyone helped in the search. When their dog gave birth to puppies, my sisters and I convinced our parents that a poodle puppy was essential to our happiness. We named the puppy - what else? - Homer. Mrs. Killebrew asked me to baby-sit one evening when she needed to run errands/Catherine Johnston, End Notes. More here.

Question: Has your family ever needed to use Hospice care? What was that experience like?

Angels for those with ALS

From left, Fred Marker and his wife Caryl, sit with hospice volunteers Cathey and Pat Priddy, who also have started a local ALS service organization and visit the Markers weekly.

…McDougall said what makes the Priddys so special is that “they understand the disease on an emotional level.” That understanding comes from firsthand knowledge. In 2002, Pat’s sister, Cheran, was diagnosed with ALS. When the Priddys make volunteer visits, they offer the empathy of those who have intimate knowledge of the toll ALS takes. Recently, they visited the home of Fred and Caryl Marker. Caryl has ALS, and the Priddys are her Hospice of Spokane volunteers.

As Pat spoke of his sister and her illness, the room grew quiet. “It’s a bad disease,” he said. “Nobody should have to go through it by themselves.” He paused to pull a red handkerchief from his pocket. After wiping his eyes, he continued, “My sister had longtime friends abandon her – they couldn’t stand to see her like that.”

Though his sister died in 2005, his grief is fresh. However, he and Cathey have channeled their grief into helping others. In 2008, they, along with several others, formed ALSSO (ALS Service Organization).Cindy Hval, Spokesman Review  Full Story.

Hospice is an amazing organization primarily because of volunteers like these. Do you know of anyone who has been helped by Hospice?

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About this blog

D.F. Oliveria is a columnist and blogger for The Spokesman-Review. Print Huckleberries is a past winner of the Herb Caen Memorial Column contest by the National Association of Newspaper Columnists. The Readership Institute of Northwestern University cited this blog as a good example of online community journalism.

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