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The active voice that represents and supports all hospices in Ontario and the individuals who require care. We believe every person and family in the province should have access to the finest standard of hospice palliative care.

“It is difficult to understand what it feels like when parents lose a child.

Ben, a little boy whose life started like any other, began to have physical difficulties and stopped meeting specific milestones. Ben’s parents became concerned. After much testing, Ben was diagnosed with Battens Disease.

Battens Disease is a rare progressive degenerative disease that causes blindness, seizures, loss of motor skills, and is always fatal. Not only did his parents know their child would die, but they were watching his death happen in stages before their eyes. There were community support services involved, but when Huron Hospice services were offered, the parents were forever changed.

As the volunteer coordinator, I first visited with Ben’s mom when Ben was three years old. Throughout the remainder of Ben’s illness, a hospice volunteer was part of the team that helped this family cope. The volunteer, a mother of young children herself, became a friend, especially for Mom.

Ben died a few months after his eighth birthday. The hospice volunteer was there to support the parents through their grief.

Life and death are different for everyone, but Hospice Palliative Care Volunteers help make a difference during the dying process.”

– Anonymous Testimonial from Huron Hospice

Demystifying Hospice

MYTH: I can only get palliative care in hospitals.

FACT: Palliative care services are offered in many places, including hospitals, hospices, and in your own home.

MYTH: Having hospice and palliative care means you will die soon.

FACT: Hospice and palliative care is not just for the end of life. It is a holistic approach that includes caregiver support, spiritual care, bereavement, and much more.

MYTH: Hospices are generally just for old people.

FACT: Hospice and palliative care is provided to people of all ages – from infancy to adulthood.

Hospice Palliative Care Ontario (HPCO) is a provincial association of hospices and palliative care providers, professionals, and volunteers in over 450 communities in Ontario. More than 16,000 hospice volunteers support over 30,000 clients each year.

The organization focuses on improving the quality of life for patients and families living with chronic illnesses and bereavement.

The HPCO Online Hospice Volunteer Training Program provides hospice volunteers across Ontario with standardized training.

To donate, visit www.hpco.ca/donate

Learn more about becoming a hospice volunteer at


Global Heroes Magazine #2 - September 2020

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Volunteers unselfishly give of their time and talent to help other people help themselves. A volunteer is someone who believes that people can make a difference and is willing to demonstrate it.

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