When we moved to Pine Junction in 2009, my husband, Edward, had been diagnosed with brain cancer. Within days, Suzanne came over from Mount Evans to start his physical therapy. Because I suffer from macular degeneration, a Mount Evans volunteer, Liz, began coming every week to read to us.
When Ed reached the point where he needed hospice care, two nurses came regularly to make sure he was comfortable, and when he died, his nursing assistant, Brenda, arranged everything. I felt so ‘looked after’! Even though Ed is gone, I haven’t ended my relationship with Mount Evans. They took wonderful care of me after I underwent hip-replacement surgery last January and, four and a half years after we started with Mount Evans, Liz still comes by every week to read to me.
I consider Mount Evans my extended family. The wonderful and caring staff has been with me through three deaths in the last 18 years. My first husband, Emerson Harvey, died in 1995 of cancer, loved and supported by the Mount Evans nurses who had worked with him over the years since he was their medical advisor. After Em’s death, I began volunteering at Mount Evans and found my niche on the bereavement team. I’ve enjoyed being a part of the angel making, making decorations for the yearly fundraiser, and numerous other jobs. When I lost my son, Roger, to a stroke in 2009 and my second husband, Alex, in 2010 with complications from Parkinson’s disease, the speech therapist, nurse, social worker and CNA were skilled caregivers to my loved ones at the end of their lives. The compassion shown to me and my children helped us beyond measure. I shall always support this great organization and am forever grateful and thankful for the role that Mount Evans has played in our mountain community and in my life.
In 2011, my husband Phil was diagnosed with pancreatic cancer. A Mount Evans nurse came to our home to provide IV hydration, and a nutritionist helped Phil with his diet because he had lost so much weight. Phil gained 20 pounds, which helped him gain the strength he needed to achieve his goal of a family vacation in South Carolina with our five children and their families. He decided to forgo chemotherapy after one round, and opted instead for hospice care to manage his symptoms. His suffering was eased with the help of a Mount Evans team comprising a nurse, chaplain, social worker and massage therapist. Phil died four and a half months after he was diagnosed. Three of our children and I were helped by Mount Evans’ bereavement team, and some of us are still receiving grief support and counseling.
Last year I had two total knee replacements because I have rheumatoid arthritis. My mom and I decided that instead of going to a facility after surgery, I would get help at home. Mount Evans sent a nurse, Meg, to draw my blood levels, and a physical therapist named Susan to help me with getting stronger. They were really nice and fun and I was walking again soon. After 13 months I can play golf again. I volunteer for the Evergreen Animal Protective League, and I go to the R.A. exercise class at the Rec Center twice a week.