Fulfilling Our Mission
Adding Quality of Life
and Sharing Memories

Seasons' Foundation Blog RSS Feed
A Fathers Last Wish

Sometimes granting a last wish can help bring peace to the patient at the end of his/her life.

Valdez is a 29 year old man who was hit by a car as a pedestrian.  After physicians in the ICU determined that he will never regain consciousness, his family consulted hospice care since they knew Val would never want to live on a ventilator.  Val was transferred to the Seasons in-patient unit at Sinai Grace Hospital.  As the social worker was discussing a vent removal date, Val’s mother asked if it would be OK to have a party first.  His mother went on to explain that Val has an 8 week old baby, Kason, with his fiancée.  During the pregnancy, there was a risk that she would lose the baby so the couple decided to wait on having a baby shower.  When Kason was born healthy, Val stated that he wanted to be the one to plan the shower.  Due to his accident, Val never had this opportunity.  The Seasons team saw this chance to help and asked if they could help throw the shower.  On 3/20/12, the hospice team and Seasons Hospice Foundation along with the family decorated Val’s suite with balloons and streamers and gave a gift of diapers, wipes and other necessities.  Many of Val’s friends came to the shower and his fiancée was moved to tears by the surprise shower. This was a perfect way to honor Val.

Val died 2 days later.  


Sally's Own State Fair

The Blue Team’s members are affectionately referred to as “the Blue Angels”. Earlier this month, case manager Mary was talking to her patient Sally, a resident at Renaissance Midway. As they talked about a lifetime of memories and dreams, there was one wish that Sally had always hoped for but was never able to accomplish: attending the Illinois State Fair in Springfield. With the help of Seasons Foundation, Sally was able to attend her own State Fair.

 On March 13 the activity room at Renaissance Midway was transformed into the “Sally State Fair” grounds. With incredible artwork, personalized signs and “face painting” made this celebration extra special for Sally and her family. What would a State Fair be without clowns, a bagpiper and a juggler? Katie and Mary made sure that would not be the case as the two donned bright and colorful clown outfits and with their outgoing personalities made sure that there was a smile on everyone’s face, especially Sally’s. Many team members gathered together to make this event spectacular that included moonlight juggling and decorating the activity center with balloons and food stations. There was even a “Sally ice cream Bar.” State Fair games like ring toss, balloon darts and the ever-favorite bottle knock down games made this fair extra special. Having Sally’s children, grandchildren and great-grandchildren on hand to share this momentous occasion made the celebration complete and one that Sally and her family will never forget.

A Couples Love For Each Other

All wishes that Seasons Foundation are able to grant are special, but this was an especially meaningful lunch for John and his wife. John has an unusual brain disease which has required constant care for the past 7 years and is now entering the terminal phase. His wife, Diane, is an incredible caregiver. She had initially heard of Seasons through a informal chat group on the internet that she started for spouses of a similar disease-- this has been her primary support for years. She initially requested hospice services in May, but he wasn't quite ready... Seasons continued to follow him for six months and he is now on our services. Their satisfaction is even greater than they anticipated it would be.

 This gourmet lunch in their home was not just about a delicious meal for this family. It was great to be able to give them a moment together to enjoy being a couple instead of always being in a caregiver/patient relationship. 

A Picture Is Worth A Thousand Words

A Picture is worth 1000 words, and in this case, a lifetime of cherished memories.  Anna is an 89 year old patient at Seasons Hospice in Pennsylvania. She has been married to her husband for 70 years. To celebrate their 70th wedding anniversary, the wonderful Twizzlers team came up with an idea to hire a photographer to take professional photos of the loving couple and their family and to present the patient with a framed portrait of her spouse and family.

Part of the foundation’s mission is to fulfill a wish to create lasting memories for the patient and family. Thanks to team PA, we have successfully left a lasting memory to show the love that two people share for one another as well as a strong family bond.

With A Full Stomach And A Big Heart...

Friday the 13th turned out to be a pretty lucky day for Bill and Joanne. Through the generosity and partnership of the Seasons Foundation and Show Me Travelling Chef Services, Bill and Joanne had a gourmet meal and cooking lesson provided in their home.

 The menu included: Chicken Cannelloni with homemade pasta and a white wine and tomato sauce, Salad de Antipasto (an assortment of olives and grilled vegetables served over a bed of baby greens drizzled with a balsamic vinaigrette), Homemade Focaccia Bread and Homemade Tiramisu. Chef Cody James (pictured here with Bill and Joanne) came to their home around 10am and started setting up kitchen. Bringing all supplies and cookware, he started making the pasta and bread by scratch...he continued to cook and provide instruction until the final presentation of the meal at 12:30. Bill and Joanne, both self-proclaimed "foodies", were all eyes and ears throughout the lesson and meal, picking up new tips and methods.

 Joanne described the meal as "absolutely decadent" and Bill stated that, "this was a lot of fun".  Chef Cody enjoyed the experience so much that he offered to provide this service to the patients of Gateway Seasons Hospice team on a monthly basis.

 Thank you Allison and team MO for putting together this wonderful wish for a Seasons patient. With a full stomach, and a big heart…

Memories That Will Last Forever

Holiday cheer and giving can come in many forms. It does not always have to be a grand gesture, but sometimes the small things in life are much more meaningful and can create memories that will last a lifetime.

A woman of strong faith and close family ties, Kay is reluctant to ever ask anyone for help. She and her husband, Dave live in the St Louisarea and are well-loved by all they meet. They regularly have meals brought in from church family, house cleaning by neighbors and plenty of visitors. Unfortunately, this family is spread out with many members in the military and busy. During Thanksgiving, the entire family was able to come home to spend time with Kay. She conserved her energy for weeks to ensure that she would be able to enjoy their visit to the fullest. The Gateway Team of Seasons Hospice wanted to help Kay’s family stay close to her for as long as possible. After discussing at IDG and receiving approval from the local Foundation committee, Kay and Dave were given quilt blocks for family members to autograph with personal messages. After the family had departed, the meaningful quilt blocks were sewn together. Now Kay has her family surrounding her every day. Kay says that she never knew some of the things that were in her children’s hearts and that “I read their messages every day”. Because of the St. Louis Team and Seasons Foundation, this family was able to provide Kay with something so special that will bring her family closer to her and provide comfort in her final days.

To Brighten a Families Holiday Season

Thank you team San Diego and Ryana for sharing this heartfelt story..

 Here's a story to brighten your holiday season. 

 Sometimes things just come together like they were meant to be.  Tina, our SW, shared the story of our new admission, Juana, with me on Friday afternoon.  Juana is 55 y/o and has End-Stage Renal disease with a very poor prognosis.  She lives with her dtr and her family including the dtr's husband, a 13 y/o grandson, an 8y/o granddaughter and a baby due at anytime.  All of them live in a 1 bedroom apartment.

 With Tina's help, we contacted Juana's dtr and she reluctantly shared a couple of items on her kids' Christmas list that they are not able to grant.  She said her mother could really use a blanket and denied needing anything herself.  Kristen, our TA, then helped me research the toys and locate them. I drove to Oceanside late that afternoon, just 90 minutes after Tina first brought the need to my attention, to purchase a FurReal Friends toy dog, an Xbox game, a gently used baby swing, a gift card to Macaroni Grill, a poinsettia, eggnog and cookies.  Tina and I had selected for the pt a beautiful blanket, cap and booties that had been crocheted by a volunteer. 

 I called Juana's dtr to see if I could stop by to have her "sign a form."  Jennifer, our nurse, was just leaving and called to tell me that the pt was actively dying.  When I explained what we had done, she turned around and met me back at the apt.  We delivered the gifts together.  Juana's dtr was in tears, speechless with appreciation.  She immediately put the blanket atop her mother who was unresponsive. The great burden and sense of grief that she was holding was lifted for a moment. They could celebrate Christmas early and create some good memories in spite of their heartache.  Juana died early this morning, two days later.

 A big thank you to everyone who helped pull this off.  Please keep your patients and their families in mind.  What can the Foundation do to lift their spirits?  Clearly, we can move mountains quickly when we work as a team.  Thanks guys!

With Brandon's Warm Smile and Big Heart

It is not often that the foundation staff is fortunate enough to actually meet the wonderful patients and families we help. We had such an honor this week. When we arrived at the family’s home, a small ranch house they rent, we were warmly invited into their immaculate home. The walls covered with pictures of family and friends told a beautiful story of love and caring. When Brandon’s step mom wheeled him into the living room to meet us we saw in his face a loving, cheerful, handsome, and courageous young man. At age 25, he has suffered from a progressive and disabling illness since birth, an illness that will one day take his life. Brandon lives with his large blended family consisting of his father, stepmother and 7 other children. The family is completely dedicated to Brandon, and with medical bills, a limited income, and rising costs they face a constant challenge meeting the needs of all of their children.

Understanding their role in planning interventions that add quality to life the Seasons team caring for this patient went into action. The team recognized the stress this family was under and wanted to help ease their financial pain with help from the foundation. After hearing their story Seasons Hospice Foundation wanted to help this wonderful family. With the help of the Illinois team, the foundation paid one months’ rent and their past due phone bill. With a cold winter approaching, the Seasons’ team members identified the need for warm clothes and shoes for the children and the foundation provided a gift card from a local discount store. With the holidays coming and so many mouths to feed, the team also asked the foundation to purchase a gift card to a grocery store to help the family pay for a month’s worth of groceries.

We handed a small red striped gift bag to Brandon that contained the gift cards for the family. They were all happy to pose for pictures with us. Brandon told us we chose a gift card from his favorite store and his smile warmed the hearts of everyone in the room. After returning to the office we emailed copies of the pictures to Brandon’s father as requested and he sent back these words:  “I wanted to thank everyone at Seasons for all their hard work and dedication to my family. You have no idea how this will help us get caught up on so much that we have been behind. Thank you again.”

 To Brandon and his loving family: Good luck on your journey ahead. We are honored to be a small part of your lives.  Marcia and Marisa

A Veteran Laid to Rest

William, a veteran died at the Wisconsin inpatient unit on 10/18/11. Even though William is a veteran there were no burial funds available and he was not able to die at the VA’s Palliative Care Unit because it was full. He was transferred to Seasons IPU because his loving family could no longer care for him. His family had no money to pay for his funeral costs because every cent they had went towards his care

William’s body has been at the funeral home for 2 days awaiting cremation. The funeral home will not cremate him because the family cannot pull together enough money to pay for the service.  Seasons Hospice Foundation has agreed to pay for William to have a proper burial and for his family to be relived from one burden of many as they try to heal from the death of their loved one.

Thank you Team Wisconsin for identifying this need and helping this family give their loved one a proper burial that William deserves.

A Birthday Wish Comes True!

Janice, an Illinois patient on the Weiss inpatient unit discussed her upcoming birthday with one of the social workers. Every year her birthday falls close to the annual prayer breakfast at her church. She celebrates herself with church members and looks forward to this event all year.  She explained that she didn’t think she would be able attend this year because she no longer had anything to wear and no way to get there due to her illness. With the help of Seasons Hospice Foundation and the Illinois staff, we were able to provide Janice with a limo ride to arrive in style along with a brand new birthday outfit and ruby red shoes to celebrate in. Janice had an amazing birthday and she was even recognized with an excellence certificate by the church for her commitment, devotion, and performance. Happy Birthday Janice!

A trip to the Aqaurium

(Please see below excerpts from a letter written by Patient Robert and his girlfriend on their day trip to the aquarium in Boston.)

 Our excitement started the day Lauren, our social worker called to say she had gotten us tickets to the Aquarium. It was completely unexpected, and since Bobby had never been to the Aquarium, this was something he always wanted to do. We’d tried to get there previously, but the costs were too high. Things got even more exciting when Lauren told us she gotten us a camera and lunch and a behind-the-scenes tour. The Aquarium had donated the tickets and tour, while Seasons Hospice Foundation provided the lunch and the camera. The Big Tank has some of the Aquarium’s best features and picture opportunities – sharks. “I was like a little kid following the fish from window to window,” Bobby said.

Bobby’s girlfriend Janet enjoyed watching Bobby who was going around like a six-year-old all day. Their favorite part of the behind-the-scenes tour was seeing and hearing about the 25-foot Anaconda. “We even got to hold the skin she shed last year. That picture is awesome,” Bobby said.

They were headed up the ramp around the Big Tank when they announced the aquarium would be closing soon. Bobby and Janet hurried to the top and saw the open top of the tank.  They were enjoying their day so much that they had to be reminded by multiple staff that the Aquarium was closed. We just didn’t want to leave! We feel like we could have spent a couple of days there. “The only bad part was that Lauren wasn’t with us,” Bobby said.

Joseph's Team Dream Come True

As a life-long Detroit Tigers fan, Joseph Walters has always dreamed of attending a game. With the help of the Seasons Hospice Foundation and the Detroit Tigers Organization, Joseph and his family realized his dream on September 1, 2011. Wearing an authentic baseball jersey purchased by our Seasons Foundation, Joseph and his sister rode in style in a Lincoln Navigator to Comerica Park to see the baseball game. Joseph was escorted onto the field where he watched batting practice and met Detroit Tigers Manager Jim Leeland and Tiger greats Jose Valverde, Tom Brookens and Rafeal Beliard. Afterwards Joseph and his sister enjoyed a delicious lunch in the Tigers Den overlooking the baseball field. And to top off the day, Joseph watched the game in an air-conditioned luxury suite right behind home plate! 

 What makes this story so remarkable is that as a young teenager, Joseph was diagnosed with a mental disorder and was placed in an institution because his parents were unable to provide the specialized care he required. Throughout the years Joseph became estranged from his family and spent his years living in group homes and was homeless for long periods of times, sleeping on the streets of Detroit, many times just outside of the baseball stadium. It wasn't until his sister Judy was going through her mother's items after her passing that she found paperwork about her brother Joseph and his last known whereabouts. Judy set out on a crusade to find Joseph and after two years of searching, she finally located him through a homeless shelter in Detroit. When she found Joseph, he was malnourished, and was in grave condition. Judy had Joseph hospitalized and evaluated. It was then they discovered his terminal diagnosis and he was subsequently admitted to Seasons Hospice. Joseph now lives with his sister in a peaceful, supportive environment.

 When Joseph was asked what was the best part of his Detroit Tigers experience he replied "seeing my sister Judy so happy!"


Emma is currently on hospice service with Seasons Hospice in St. Louis. She has a diagnosis of dementia and a history of strokes. She has required care with all ADL’s for several years. Royce Smith, is her  niece and primary caregiver. Following her military career (Army), Royce returned to St. Louis to provide care for her aunt who was such a vital force in her upbringing. Royce is frail—she requires assistance in getting up at times and has ongoing pain due to a chronic health concern. At one point, she indicated to our team that she hopes that she lives long enough to see Ms. Smith die in peace.

Royce is a special caregiver. In addition to taking care of the patient for so many years, she has struggled with her own chronic and often debilitating health issues for which she has a visiting nurse from the VA. At the end of the day, she is physically spent. She enjoys kicking back and watching football games—“any team, any time” is how she phrased it. When asked if she had ever gone to a professional football game, she responded that she would love to, but that she’s never been able to afford it.

Thanks to Seasons Foundation, Royce’s wish came true and she saw her first professional football game on August 20, 2011. The Foundation worked with the Rams organization and obtained 2 free tickets—for Ms. Royce and the patient’s granddaughter, Ariel. In addition to outstanding seats, they both received sideline passes and got to watch the Rams up close and personal during warm up. Royce described the evening as “one of the best nights of my life!”

A Gift of Peace

Seasons Foundation helped provide noise cancelling headphones for our dear patient, Diana.  Diana is living in a skilled nursing facility where there are a great deal of medical alarms going off every day.  In addition, Diana shares her room with two other patients who enjoy having their televisions turned up to quite a high volume.  Their hearing isn’t as good as Diana’s, so she had a feeling of helplessness since the other patients would not turn down their televisions so that they could hear.  In addition, the steady stream of medical alarms on top of the noise of the televisions added to the cacophony.  Our Chaplain John noticed the noise level in Diana’s room and inquired with Diana about her experience.  Diana let him know of feeling hopeless and frustrated that the situation would not change.  Well, John did something about it.  John collaborated with the social worker, music therapist, and nurse and came up with the idea of purchasing noise cancelling headphones to increase Diana’s quality of life.

The Social Worker had the opportunity to deliver the headphones the next morning.  That morning, Diana’s sister and brother decided to pay a surprise visit to Diana.  They too made several comments about the noise level in Diana’s room.  It was at that moment he was able to take out the noise cancelling headphones and present them to Diana.  Diana was thrilled.  Diana’s brother and sister were thrilled.  Diana said that she could still hear other people in the room, but that the noise was finally manageable.  She was smiling and thanked the team several times for the gift of noise cancelling headphones, which for her was a gift of peace.

Several of the team members and volunteers stopped by in the next few days and Diana was smiling and still wearing the headphones.  The team and Diana’s family are filled with gratitude for the opportunity that Seasons Hospice Foundation has given us to help improve the quality of life for Diana.


Putting a Family at Ease


“(Patient) was having financial difficulty on top of suffering from a terminal illness.  The (pt’s and family’s) request was for the Foundation to pay for one month of their late mortgage that was caused by a family member taking advantage of the patient and caregiver.” 

After reviewing the patient's financial assessment it was borderline on whether the pt and their family could afford to pay the mortgage payment.  The Foundation Committee had some concerns but after talking to the point person and hearing what had happened to this family by one of their own, the Foundation Committee agreed to pay one month’s rent to remind (pt) that just because there are people out there that do harm (even in your own family), there is still good in the world.  By paying this pt’s mortgage, we hope that this pt will be able to rest a little bit better knowing that the financial hardship their family faced is now taking care of and the pt can focus on (pt’s) family and a quality of life.

 This another example of what the Foundation can do for our patients and families.  With the assistance of the Foundation, this pt will rest peacefully and their quality of life will increase knowing their family’s hardship is taking care of.


A Patient's Emotional Reunion

Joan (name has been changed to protect her identity), a 94 year old patient in the San Diego program, was a retired social worker and well-loved by the team, her family and her friends.  Joan had run out of money years ago.  Her daughter who lived in Hawaii had been doing her best to cover Joan’s bills at the assisted living facility, but she could no longer afford to do so.  Her daughter offered up her home, but Joan insisted on remaining in San Diego so she wouldn’t be a burden on her family.  Joan was moved to a skilled nursing facility that accepted her MediCal-pending.  When the team noticed that Joan was growing weaker and more confused, we contacted the Seasons Charitable Foundation.  With their financial assistance, Joan’s daughter was able to fly out from Hawaii to pay one final visit to her mother.  Our home health aide spent the morning bathing, dressing, and “dolling up” Joan so that she looked her very best for the visit. 

                When her daughter entered the room, Joan looked up with clear recognition and a great big appreciative smile.  They spent the afternoon on a shaded courtyard, catching up, hugging and holding hands.  Joan’s daughter was in town for five additional days, spending quality time with her mother.  Joan died very peacefully less than two weeks later.  The Seasons Hospice Foundation offered this patient and family an opportunity to hold each other once more and say good-bye.  Their support made a world of difference in the lives of this mother and daughter.  Thank you so much!

Brandi's Wedding

Please check out the lovely video from patient Brandi's Wedding in Michigan that the wonderful staff of Seasons MI and the Foundation helped put together.


A day at Weiss Hospital

Seasons Foundation visited the Inpatient Unit Today in Illinois along with one of the Seasons Volunteer Therapy Dogs. We had a great day and the patients were so excited to see Marley. It really brought joy to the patients and employees.


To Breathe a little easier

Rickie is 53 years old with respiratory problems. He lives in Chicago on the second floor of an apartment without any air conditioning. With the hot Chicago Summers, Rickie has trouble breathing and is very uncomfortable in his own house. Seasons foundation was able to give him a brand new Air Conditioning Unit for his bedroom. Rickie can now be much more relaxed, comfortable and content while breathing a little easier.

A Dream Come True

 “(Pt’s) dream was to be married to her sweetheart and father of her child.  With her guidance and her family members, the Seasons Hospice Foundation and the Seasons Hospice Team planned a beautiful wedding that was held on campus and was officiated by one of our own Chaplains.  (Pt) needed an undergarment for her wedding gown but was too ill to drive to the boutique for the fitting.  The Foundation arranged for the sales associate to personally fit (the pt) while she remained at her residence to provided her with the needed item.”

In addition to the wedding the Foundation was able to secure a local videographer to record the wedding ceremony with a compilation CD put together by one of our own Music Therapists.  Once the video is edited it will be distributed to the happy couple, their family, and the Foundation. 

What is a wedding without a honeymoon?  The Foundation thought the same thing and arranged for the bride and groom to stay an extra night in the honeymoon suite at a local hotel.

This is just one of the examples of what the Foundation can do for our patients and families.  With the assistance of many including the Foundation, this bride and groom felt for a moment in time that everything was perfect, forgetting their troubles…able to live in the moment and enjoy life.  This is what it is all about!! 


Fundraising Campaign

I am pleased to announce the a new fundraising campaign from SEASONS MA for the Seasons Hospice Foundation. Below is the link:


ABOUT SCENTSY: Unique Scentsy warmers use a low-wattage light bulb to slowly melt specially formulated scented wax of the highest quality.  With no flame, smoke, or soot, the Scentsy wickless candle system is a safe way to enjoy Scentsy fragrances without the risks that scented candles create.  With over 50 beautifully crafted warmers and 80 scents to choose from there is a scent and warmer for every occasion.  In addition to Scentsy’s decorative warmers there are also warmers featured in special collections, such as college campus, do-it-yourself, nursery, Patriot (e.g. army, navy, marines) and charitable causes (Autism Speaks).  Scentsy also offers stuffed animals (“Buddies”), room sprays, hand sanitizing foams, car fresheners, and travel tins. Experience Scentsy and enliven the soul.

The Foundation will receive 25% of the total sales at the end of June!!!

Donation Letter

"Finally I sat down to write this letter of appreciation in relation to the care given to JM, a relative of mine who died on February 11th while being loaded with love, care and respect by every member of Seasons Hospice he came in contact with while his short stay at the hospice."

"After this experience I hope I don't have to tell you all how I feel about Seasons Hospice. I am 80 years old and will always be wishing that when the time comes I will spend my last days in Seasons Hospice. It will be a blessing."

" Ms. K, I am enclosing a modest donation in appreciation for everything I have described in this letter. I only wish it were a thousand times that amount."

"To Everyone at Seasons Hospice, my deepest appreciation for everything you did in JM's behalf. I will always keep you all in my thoughts."

With Love,

A relative of a Seasons Hospice patient.

Texas Christmas lights from high in the sky

Our first year we opened our doors in Texas, we had a patient that had always wanted to fly around the city and look at the Christmas lights.  On his last Christmas, our Music Therapist, Aileen, who is also a pilot and owns her own plane, took him up and let him see the Christmas lights.  He passed two days later and up until he became unresponsive, that was what he told everyone that came to see him.  His wish had come true.

Going home to California

Our In Patient Unit patient, CS was able to fly to her family home in California with her father.  This was the result of many people working together to make this happen.  CS had no family there in Wisconsin and wanted to go back to California to be with her family when she died.  Her mother was also critically ill and she wanted to see her before she died.  CS’s MD did not recommend the travel so she decided to come to the Seasons In Patient Unit.  During her stay here, she did remarkably well and expressed her desire to try to go home.  Our Hospice Physician reviewed her chart and labs and had an excellent conversation with CS and her father.  He did such a nice job of teaching her about her condition and the risk she was taking if she chose to travel.  His explanation was so well balanced and compassionate, that CS and her father decided together that they would take the risk.  CS arrived safely and was able to spend her last days at home with her family surrounding her, all because our Seasons Wisconsin team was willing to go the extra mile and coordinate the education and teaching for her care as she traveled.

—    Sandra

A jam session at the deathbed

Newport Beach - The bluesy bedside jam session started when Jacob, 13, took his guitar into his dying father’s bedroom and joined two music therapists who were there to help ease his pain.

 Sunlight trickled in through the shut blinds in the dim bedroom as Steve, 53, groaned and asked his wife for more pain medication.

 He had liver cancer.  A few days before, he enrolled in Seasons Hospice because there was nothing more that the doctors could do.  He had days left to live.

 Andrea, a 32 year-old music therapist, sat on the floor, strummed her guitar and improvised the “Stomach Ache Blues” to help distract him from the pain.  Jacob sat on the foot of the bed.

 Inspired by the blues, Steve lifted his oxygen tube from his nose and off his face.  He disconnected himself from the morphine pump and climbed out of the bed.

Seasons Hospice Foundation

Seasons Hospice Foundation: First Class
8537 Solution Center
Chicago, IL 60677

Seasons Hospice Foundation: Signature or overnight
Lockbox # 778537
350 East Devon Ave.
Itasca, Illinois 60143