When Zoe Clint’s parents were nearing the end of their battles with cancer, it fell on her to make them as comfortable as possible in their final days, and eventually plan the funerals.
It’s a heart-breaking and expensive process, but thanks to the help of Victoria Hospice, Clint didn’t have to go through it alone. Years after the death of her parents, Clint is organizing a fundraiser for the charitable organization as a way of saying thanks.
”I’m usually missing my parents around this time of year, so this year I decided to do something good instead of just feeling bad about it,” said Clint.
Clint’s first contact with Victoria Hospice came in 2014 as her mother Cindy Hannah moved into hospice care. The family was given the option to have Hannah spend the rest of her days at home, and were provided with all the medical equipment they would need to keep her comfortable.
The most important support they received, however, was counselling services.
”People forget how hard it is for the person who is actually dying,” she said. “We ended up getting a call at least once a week checking in on how we were doing, what was needed … I needed that more than I care to admit.”
Just a year later, her father Bill Clint reached the end of his battle with cancer. Zoe Clint said her father was originally cared for in Nanaimo, but since she lived in Esquimalt, it became difficult to visit regularly.
She reached out to Victoria Hospice in the hopes they would have room for him to be cared for closer to home, but was told at first there were no spaces available.
“They really worked their asses off to make room for him,” she said. “I was able to have him for his last few days, and that was really nice.”
But Clint said the organization’s support didn’t stop when her parents died. Victoria Hospice also helped arrange funerals, wakes, cremation and many other aspects of after-death procedures to the point where all she had to do was choose the specifics and sign the paperwork.
“Victoria Hospice helped me be able to love them very thoroughly, and not have to worry as much,” she said. “They were the gift I didn’t expect.”
When she calls the organization’s help a gift, she means it – everything they did for her and her family was completely free. It’s because of this, and the fact people don’t often think about hospice care, that she has decided to give back.
On Dec. 18, Clint will be hosting a bottle drive at the Quadra Street Bottle Depot in Saanich, with all proceeds going to Victoria Hospice. The drive will run from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m., but it won’t be the only opportunity for people to donate their returns to the organization.
Clint said starting Dec. 31, any returns to Bottle Depot locations throughout Greater Victoria can be earmarked for Victoria Hospice on drop-off.