National Hospice Palliative Care Week kicks off with dozens of hikes across Canada to raise critical funds and awareness for hospice palliative care. This Sunday, Victoria Hospice welcomes hundreds of people to Fisherman’s Wharf for the eighth annual Hike for Hospice.
The festivities kick off at 9 a.m. with a high-energy performance by local Celtic band Cookeilidh and the hike starts at 10. Hikers of all ages and abilities will trek an accessible, scenic 3.5-km loop from the Inner Harbour to the ocean and back again.
One group stands out each year during the Victoria Hike. Team Eassie wears bright yellow T-shirts in honour of their family member and friend, Bill Eassie, who was cared for by Victoria Hospice in his final days.
“We wanted to look like a team, to represent our commitment to stay a close family despite the loss of one so dear to us,” says Bill’s daughter, Heather. Bill was able to stay at home during his final days because of Victoria Hospice’s care.
“The resources that were offered to us both before and after our dad’s passing, such as grief counselling, were so helpful and appreciated,” she says. “We were surprised to learn that hospice is not fully funded by the health care system. It makes us feel good to come together as a family, to remember my dad, and to take part in something that will ensure other families can experience the same loving care we did.”
So far Hike for Hospice has raised a little over half of its $40,000 goal. Registration is available until the hike starts with donations accepted at victoriahospice.org/events/8th-annual-hike-hospice until the end of the month.