The newly formed South Shore Hospice/Palliative Care Society received a six-figure commitment from two families passionate about boosting efforts surrounding end-of-life care in Lunenburg and Queens counties.
The announcement came September 20 during a fundraising breakfast in Wileville benefiting the society. Elspeth McLean-Wile of Wileville, along with her friends Mary Ann and Wayne Fulcher of the Riverport area, are contributing a total $150,000 spread over a three-year period to aid palliative care needs in the region.
The Fulcher's weren't present but McLean-Wile shared the news to the surprised crowd at her Highway 325 farm market business. The money enables the society to work on developing more services, help designate beds at the Bridgewater hospital and one day establish a hospice in the community.
McLean-Wile, speaking to LighthouseNOW, said "maybe two" people attending the breakfast knew the announcement was coming.
"I already knew there was a need in the community but I lived the palliative care life with Peter," she told LighthouseNOW.
Her business partner and spouse, Peter Wile, died in April at age 63 after a short illness.
She told the breakfast audience that Peter had great care from Dr. Debra Gowan and her palliative care team, in addition to support from the VON and the staff at Pharmasave.
"I knew how stretched and how difficult the circumstances are around palliative care and how limited the resources are," she told LighthouseNOW. "The demands are huge and there are just not enough doctors and enough care people in the community or in the hospital to to the work that needs to be done."
She told the audience she was fortunate to have timely resources to get what was needed. Others, she pointed out, may not be so lucky.
Resources and a guide to access palliative care services can be found at www.nshealth.ca/content/palliative-care on the internet.
Donations to the South Shore Hospice Palliative Care Society Fund can be made by logging on to http://cfns-fcne.ca/en/southshorehospice on the internet.
McLean-Wile smiled when asked what she thought Peter would think of her donation.
"He would be very happy."