Photo 1 Caption: Sarah and her family attend a Milwaukee Brewers baseball game through a wish granted by the ThedaCare Hospice Foundation’s Hopes and Dreams program.
Photo 2 Caption: Sarah and her daughter visit with Brewers player, Josh Hader.
Photo 3 Caption: Sarah’s daughter gets her face painted at the game.
October 4, 2019
APPLETON MOTHER WITH CANCER ATTENDS BREWERS GAME
Family Fulfills Wish through the Hopes and Dreams Program
APPLETON, Wis. – An Appleton mother who was diagnosed with brain cancer, recently fulfilled one of her special wishes, attending a Milwaukee Brewers game.
“My dad lived in Milwaukee so he would take us to games back when they played at County Stadium,” said Sarah. “I remember doing that as a little girl, from a very young age. The year I graduated high school, Miller Park opened.”
Sarah’s wish was made possible through the ThedaCare Hospice Foundation’s Hopes and Dreams program. The program was created to enhance the quality of life for patients in their end-of-life journey. Thanks to the generous support of donors in the community, the program is able to fulfill last wishes like a plane ticket for a family member, celebration of a milestone like a birthday or anniversary, or special events like attending a Brewers baseball game.
“In Sarah’s case, we worked closely with Associated Bank, a generous donor to the ThedaCare Family of Foundations, to set the wheels in motion,” explained Erin Tyink, Regional Development Director for the ThedaCare Family of Foundations. “They provided the family with the tickets, lunch at the game and a gift card for the Brewers store. They also worked with the team to get Sarah and her family on the field before the game.”
The day was special for Sarah and her family. Sarah’s mother Jean is Sarah’s fulltime caretaker. Jean also helps care for Sarah’s daughter who is six-years-old.
“It’s one last hurrah,” said Sarah. “One last home game. This wish means everything, especially because it will be my last game.”
“Sarah’s always liked baseball, better than football,” said her mother, Jean. “So the Brewers are her team.”
Sarah’s journey, which began in 2014, has been difficult for her and her family.
“It was a big decision to move on to hospice,” explained Sarah. “We learned that the tumor was growing and it wasn’t responding to treatment. We knew it was the right time for hospice. It’s really hard, though, because I just don’t want to leave my daughter behind. I tell her everyday how much I love her. She means everything to me.”
Sarah’s mother Jean explained that they have support from those within the community.
“We have her daughter involved in soccer this year,” she said. “It’s good to keep her busy, she likes playing, and she has friends on the team from her class so it’s good for socialization. The coaches are terrific and they’re out there encouraging them to have fun. We’re very fortunate to have such a great support system. Family, friends, even people we never really knew who have offered to help.”
The family also said they feel support from the ThedaCare Hospice program.
“Our nurses are wonderful,” said Jean. “I know that Sarah is safe and in good hands. There’s less stress when hospice is here. It means a lot to us. I worked in hospice care before as a nurse; I always said hospice care is the best care.”
Sarah and her family enjoyed sharing photos after the game, which the Brewers won, 4-3.
To learn more about the ThedaCare Family of Foundations and the impact of donor support, or make a donation, please visit www.thedacare.org/Foundations or email Foundations@thedacare.org.
For more than 110 years, ThedaCare® has been committed to improving the health of the communities it serves in Northeast and Central Wisconsin. The organization delivers care to a community of more than 600,000 residents in 14 counties and employs more than 7,000 healthcare professionals. ThedaCare has 180 locations including seven hospitals located in Appleton, Neenah, Berlin, New London, Shawano, Waupaca and Wild Rose. ThedaCare is the first in Wisconsin to be a Mayo Clinic Care Network Member, giving our specialists the ability to consult with Mayo Clinic experts on a patient’s care. ThedaCare is a not-for-profit healthcare organization with a level II trauma center, comprehensive cancer treatment, stroke and cardiac programs as well as a foundation dedicated to community service.
Media should call Cassandra Wallace, Public Relations Specialist at 920.442.0328 or the ThedaCare Regional Medical Center-Neenah switchboard at 920.729.3100 and ask for the marketing person on call.