This week we’re sharing with you why we started and continue to run Hockey For Grace. Today we share the reason we raise money, Emily’s House.
There we sat in the hospital. Shocked, stunned and unsure what came next. We thought we would be taking our little girl home. We had no idea how to navigate this new reality; you don’t plan on your child dying. It quickly washed over me that the only place Grace would see of this world was the hospital, that was not okay. I blurted out more as a thought then a statement or question, “I want to take her home”. Nurse Stephanie looked at me and said “We can make that happen, but there’s another option, can I tell you about Emily’s House?”
Philip Aziz Centre / Emily’s House is a children’s hospice. The only of it’s kind here in the GTA and 1 of only 6 across Canada. In a home like setting they provide care for children with complex needs, end of life care and respite/palliative care. They take in both the children, their families and their extended families. Because of its setting you feel as though you’re at home, but with the expertise of medical staff at your finger tips giving parents the peace of mind they need and allowing us to just enjoy our children. The staff and volunteers are like family; tending to everyday tasks and helping to ensure that your time is spent focused on your child.
As soon as we were told about Emily’s House we knew it was where we needed to be. The wheels were put in motion and before we knew it we were en route to Emily’s House. I was nervous and hesitant when we pulled up. It was a new place, with new people. What would it be like? Would we be happy there? Would we feel like a family there? We walked through the doors and I knew we were home. We were greeted by warm friendly faces, staff oooing and awwwing over Grace; her little features, her baby smell. For the first time I felt like a mom and a proud mom at that. Some friends and family had made the trip down and they were greeted with open arms. They made us a wonderful home cooked meal, a delight to all of our stomachs after days with minimal food. We were home and it felt great. Grace was happy and content and I will never forget what it felt like at the end of that day when Chris and I went off to bed and curled up with her and just cuddled her until the wee hours of the morning. It was the best feeling in the whole world. We were a family, making memories and filling our hearts with love.
Emily’s House gave us the most precious gift. Memories. They allowed us to live with our child, not just watch her die. They opened their doors, they opened their hearts. We will never be able to thank them enough for everything they did, everything they gave us. But we can help. We can help spread awareness that they exist and what they do. And we can help by raising money to ensure that other families going through this have access to this wonderful place. That is why all net proceeds raised from Hockey for Grace are donated to Emily’s House.
Want to learn more, please visit their website at www.emilyshouse.ca