Yolanda’s Story

People often associate end-of-life care with their grandparents’ generation, not with a 44-year old mom.

The MJHS Hospice team first met Yolanda, the 44-year-old mother of 11, after her kidney cancer had metastasized. At the time, Yolanda — who was a free spirit — elected to remain in a shelter, knowing her children were safe living with others.

When the pain became too severe, and her symptoms too complex to manage effectively at the shelter, Latifa — one of her daughters — suggested that her mom move to the MJHS Hospice Muriel and Harold Block Residence in the Bronx, where she was a home health aide. Yolanda agreed.

While living at the residence, Yolanda experienced around-the-clock care filled with compassion, dignity and respect. She bonded with our hospice physician and looked forward to their conversations. Yolanda also appreciated our offer of music and art therapy for her younger children, as well as regular visits by a volunteer. Most of all, Yolanda cherished family time, particularly with her daughter Latifa — now a woman with a daughter of her own.

One day, the MJHS Build a Memory program surprised the family with a special night away from illness, worry and sadness. It was a trip to a Brooklyn Nets game, complete with transportation, food and the opportunity to meet a star player. The evening gave Yolanda an instant positive experience, helped create stronger family bonds and offered lasting memories for her loved ones.

Earlier this year, Yolanda died peacefully at our hospice residence.

Donors like you allowed Yolanda to just be a mom, Latifa to have a break from caregiving and the youngest children the chance to giggle without a care in the world.

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