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Donor Gives Monthly in Memory of Aunt and to Support End-of-Life Care

The saying “no one can do everything, but everyone can do something” fuels Phyllis Roys’ charitable support for nonprofits that she sees making an impact close to home.

VNA Care is one of those organizations. Phyllis was inspired to join VNA Care’s Monthly Giving Program after the care provided to her aunt, Paula Sheehan, when faced with end-stage cancer.

Paula lived with Phyllis for over 25 years. Although Paula had a difficult childhood and encountered numerous challenges during her life, she was known for her positive outlook, strong faith, sense of humor, and ability to tell great tales.

“We can’t choose the situation we’re born into, but I wanted to make sure she had a good death. Sometimes, we have the luxury of choosing,” said Phyllis. She and her aunt talked about options for care, knowing that people often wait too long to call hospice. Phyllis said, hospice is “something that can really help you and make what’s left of your life a lot better.”

They turned to VNA Care’s hospice program for nursing and other specialized care and support at home. Miriam Rogers-Montalvo, RN, “quickly made friends with my aunt.” Miriam not only managed symptoms related to Paula’s cancer, but also her diabetes and digestive problems. As Paula’s cancer progressed, she moved to the Rose Monahan Hospice Home for the last month of her life.

“It was just like home,” said Phyllis. “They really tend to everything that you need and care about every patient.”

The hospice team helped Phyllis give her aunt exactly what she wanted — quality of life at the end of life. Paula passed away peacefully at the hospice residence at age 81.

Phyllis added, “I feel very grateful for the experience.”

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