Donations made to Hospice's Tree of Lights atop Chase Tower not only benefit the organization's end of life care, but also Hospice's lesser-known programs.
"I don't think many people realize that, while we do care mainly for the patients, we also concentrate on the family members they leave behind," said Development/Special Event Coordinator for Hospice Tricia Golding.
Hospice of Wichita Falls offers private counseling and a number of counseling groups for people who have lost loved ones. Family members can take part in the sessions even if their loved one did not use Hospice's end of life care.
Barbara Galyean lost her son, Jeremiah, to an infection at the age of 25. He was special needs, diagnosed with Cornelia de Lange Syndrome, but died suddenly in summer 2011.
Galyean did not know where to turn for help, until her doctor suggested Hospice and she began attending meetings with other parents who had lost children. "Being able to be with them and hearing stories from them and getting a little bit out here and there, I started to be able to talk about my loss," said Galyean.
Slowly, through the help of Hospice, Galyean began to heal. "To be where I am now at least gives me hope that there's a reason that I'm still here, that I have things to do, and that I'm able to do it," said Galyean. "I'm finally able to function again."
You can help families like the Galyeans by donating to Hospice's Tree of Lights. Each $10 donation lights one light in memory or honor of your loved one. This year, the organization's goal is $200,000.