Camp Brave Heart/Hospice Austin

Hospice Austin is one of many local hospice organizations across the country offering special programs for children and young people in grief.  In past years, I have had the privilege of being a volunteer and counselor for Camp Brave Heart, and I highly recommend these types of programs.  Following times of grief, children and young people need opportunities to laugh again in safe and secure settings.  Such is the mission of Camp Brave Heart.

For 2009, Camp Brave Heart  will be offered from August 3-5, 2009 at the John Knox Ranch near Wimberley, Texas.  Young campers between the ages of six and 17 can choose from many activities, including swimming, hiking, crafts, enjoying canoe rides, and a ropes course for some.  The entire camp is free.  For more information, call 512/342-4700 or visit the Hospice Austin website to obtain an application.

Here’s to moments of laughter, hope and promise for people of all ages going through grief.  Blessings, Melody

New Alliance Launched To Address Urgent Palliative Care Needs

Just recently the Worldwide Palliative Care Alliance (WPCA) launched a new global action network designed to focus exclusively on hospice and palliative care development worldwide. The full press announcement can be found here .

More than 100 million people and their families worldwide need palliative care and support each year; however, it is estimated that only seven percent actually receive it, according to the release.

Dr. Cynthia Goh, co-chair of the WPCA, from the Asia Pacific Hospice Palliative Care Network, noted, “Only 15 percent of the world’s countries have hospice and palliative care that is integrated with general health care, so the formation of the WPCA is tremendously positive step forward in helping to meet an overwhelming need.”

The Web site for the newly formed group is here.

A CaringBridge, just in case

One of the tremendously-helpful resource sites I’m currently using is called CaringBridge.  CaringBridge is an Internet vehicle for conveying information to loved ones when someone becomes ill.  The specific mission of the CaringBridge organization is to provide “free, personalized websites that support and connect loved ones during critical illness, treatment and recovery”.  CaringBridge is a tremendously helpful and easy way to provide diagnoses and health care progress reports to concerned individuals.  I first became aware of CaringBridge when I had the privilege of interviewing young Patrick Ede for the Journeys book.  Patrick’s parents used CaringBridge to give updates to family and friends about their son’s ongoing medical situation.  Now I am using it to check on the well-being of two dear friends.

Perhaps we will be so lucky as to never need to think about giving or receiving information via a site such as CaringBridge, but just in case …  Melody

Indie Excellence Award for Journeys

Here’s a question:  Guess what book was just named a 2009 Indie Excellence Awards Non-Fiction Finalist?

Here’s the answer:  Journeys of Heartache and Grace: Conversations and Life Lessons from Young People with Serious Illnesses.

We thank the Indie Excellence Awards Selection Committee members for this recognition, and I thank all of you blog readers for your ongoing support!


Pat’s Place Blog

One of my early morning (6 am – whew!) workout friends has her own blog called Pat’s Place.  Pat is a retired educator, writer and grandmother who enjoys travelling and experiencing new places.  Just recently Pat kindly agreed to mention the Journey’s book on her blog, so I would encourage you to check out Pat’s Place.  Pat is a wonderful person, and I think you will benefit from her perspectives.  Enjoy!  Melody