Why I walk
Lauren Brousseau was only 17 when her mom, Anne Galimi, succumbed to her battle with cancer on December 29, 2001. Although they didn’t understand hospice’s full scope of care coordination and symptom management at the time, Brousseau and her 15-year-old brother, Michael, appreciated the daily visits from skilled, caring medical professionals whose compassion extended to them and their father.
“My mom wanted to be home with us kids, and having her there gave us opportunities to have conversations and make memories that I take comfort in to this day,” said Brousseau, development and communications manager at Home Health Foundation. “I could come in whenever I wanted and lie next to her and talk to her, or if she was sleeping, my dad and I would talk to one another. We all held her hand the night she passed away. It was those moments that made the worst time in our lives just a little bit easier.”
Brousseau is giving back by participating in the Heart & Sole Virtual Walk-A-Thon benefiting the nonprofit agencies of Home Health Foundation, including Merrimack Valley Hospice. Participants may join the virtual walk on the official event day of Saturday, September 12, or walk one or more days anytime during the month of September while registered as an individual or team.
A $50 VISA gift card will be awarded to the winners of four photo contest categories: Best Virtual Team Photo; Most Creative Sign; Best Motivational Photo; and Most Scenic Walk Route. The fundraising goal is $70,000 to continue providing a comprehensive continuum of care and services to all patients, regardless of their ability to pay.
Brousseau said she is walking in memory of her mother and in support of Merrimack Valley Hospice caregivers and advocates because, “I believe so strongly in our mission of providing hospice, comfort care and palliative care services wherever patients call home.”
While the Galimi family lived outside of Merrimack Valley Hospice’s coverage area in New Hampshire, Brousseau installed a brick in her mother’s memory in the Tribute Walkway at High Pointe House, the agency’s hospice and palliative care residence in Haverhill, to help ensure that all patients and families have the specialized medical care and bereavement services they need at end of life. Purchased with donations raised from her 2014 wedding to Matt Brousseau, the inscription reads, “A true love story never ends.”
“Through my work in our philanthropy department, families tell me time and again how they wished they called hospice sooner because it gave them more quality time when their loved one was comfortable and at peace,” Brousseau said. “That’s why I’m doing my part to build awareness, so we can help more families benefit from hospice which has such a special place in my heart.”
For more information about Brousseau’s fundraising efforts as captain of the Cross-Country Communicators team, visit https://bit.ly/2EjnNc4. To learn more and register for the Heart & Sole Virtual Walk-A-Thon, visit www.homehealthfoundation.org/events/walk-a-thon/.