“How the individual patient is cared for is paramount, but how the family is taken care of at the end of life is really meaningful, too.”
–Casey FitzRandolph, brother of Agrace patient Jessi FitzRandolph
This is Casey FitzRandolph’s Agrace experience—as a big brother whose only sister was served by Agrace in early 2014. We have been honored to share the family’s journey through illness, loss and healthy survivorship.
“Jessi was my little sis—my only sis. When she was diagnosed with stage IV breast cancer in her early 30s, Jessi became not just solid and strong, but the rock of the family. She dealt with her battle for four years in a way that was inspiring. It is that part of her journey I will hold for the rest of my life.
“My mom is a registered nurse at Agrace, and she and Dad did a darn good job of taking care of Jessi at home. But there were some things they just couldn’t do for her. When they needed and wanted help, they turned to Agrace. From Jessi’s perspective, Agrace brought her one word: comfort.
“How the individual patient is cared for is paramount, but how the family is taken care of at the end of life is really meaningful, too. I was amazed at the simple steps Agrace took to make our family comfortable, like telling Jessi what a great smile she had, and giving a gift of teddy bears to my kids. At five and seven years old, Jessi’s illness was certainly a new experience for them.
“For the FitzRandolph family, grief support was one of the most important, impactful services we were offered. Conversations with Timothy, the Agrace hospice counselor, were huge for us, as parents who were grieving ourselves. We were able to ask him, ‘How do we talk to the kids about Aunt Jessers passing?’ Being able to bounce our approach off him was very comforting.
“After Jessi passed, Mom and Dad and I went in and chatted with Timothy. We were all feeling our grief differently, but he helped me realize that there’s no one right way to deal with the passing of a loved one. We all need our time—whatever our time is.”
For more than 35 years, Agrace has helped families like the FitzRandolphs through life’s most difficult journey.
And you can help, too. By making a tax-deductible gift to Agrace, you’ll help fund essential programs, including grief support for patients and families that continues for a year after the death, and Care for All, which ensures that quality hospice and palliative care are available to all who need Agrace’s services, regardless of their ability to pay.
Your Opportunity to Own the FitzRandolphs’ Inspiring New Book
The FitzRandolph family’s journey through Olympic gold, illness, loss and healthy survivorship will be available January 3, 2015, as a book: “No Stone Unturned.” V
The first 100 donors who support Agrace’s Light Up a Life campaign at the $250 level or more will receive a free, signed copy of the FitzRandolphs’ inspiring story. The offer is available whether you send your gift by mail or donate online.