Stella Maris Hospice Support


BSNCF’s 2003 project was assisting Stella Maris Hospice to continue its valuable programming supporting terminally ill patients and their families.

Stella Maris’ Hospice program is offered to patients who have a life threatening disease and who have less than six months to live.  Following is an account about the positive impact that Stella Maria written by Courtney Barnett in 2003:

“At age 23, I have already had three very close and personal experiences with the Stella Maris Hospice program. I am the daughter of Mary Barnett; one of the persons whom inspired The Barnett-Searing National Cancer Foundation.

From ages 15 to 22, I learned a lot about the Hospice program. My first two experiences were due to my grandparent’s illnesses. My grandmother lived with us during her hospice care, until a week before her death. Her last days were spent at Stella Maris. My grandfather was in the Assisted Living section of a retirement community. Hospice provided a social worker, some nursing care, religious support, and more. After these initial experiences, I can say that the two words that come to mind regarding hospice are “caring” and “respect”. My father says that he doesn’t know what he would have done if it had not been for the hospice program at Stella Maris.

Unspeakably, we would need the support of Hospice again for my mother’s care. There are so many moments that I vividly remember from the day I was told my mom had been diagnosed with cancer. One moment I know I won’t forget was when my father sat me down, shed a few tears, and told me my mother’s oncologist had suggested hospice that day. From my past experiences, I knew then how much the cancer had progressed and that, more than likely, I would not have a mom much longer.

Once again, Hospice did wonders. The Hospice nurse came to our home and immediately tended to my mother. Realizing how uncomfortable and anxious my mom was, she immediately made phone calls to get a medication that could ease her pain and anxiety, and ultimately calm her breathing. We were able to give my mom a dose of medicine within an hour.

During my mom’s illness and after her passing, Hospice offered my whole family counseling. Hospice offers single, family and group counseling. This is a very positive aspect of Hospice. It is so beneficial to the family members to be able to talk to someone who regularly assists those who are dealing with the loss of a loved one. It helped me gain some perspective on the feelings and emotions I was experiencing. Programs such as these help families continue with their lives, even if it is minute by minute, day by day; and eventually, year by year.”

The Barnett-Searing National Cancer Foundation was honored to work with such a giving partner.