This past Saturday, hospice held it’s annual Edelweiss Ball which is a major fundraiser for the program. Last year the ball raised 130k euros. The theme this year was a fairy tale one named Once Upon A Time with 250 people in attendance. It included a silent and live auction. The excitement was palpable in the room as the final and highest bid brought in 15k euros (20,000 USD).
All of the services provided by this hospice are free of charge. In Bucuresti the number of patients cared for grew from 449 in 2011 to 764 in 2012. This is a testament to the work by hospice to raise awareness of hospice care and the growing acceptance of the philosophy by the Romanian people. The new building is almost complete but unfortunately hospice is lacking the nine months operating expenses required to open the doors. This means the inpatient end of life care that is desperately needed in this city will not be available for another 9-12 months. But patients will continue to benefit from home care services until the new facility is operational.
As I head into the final six weeks of this journey, I think of all the work that remains and am thankful for what I have been able to accomplish. What an incredible opportunity as a health care provider to contribute to improving end of life care for the Romanian people!