EDITORIAL: Time to rally for hospice

Doug and Andrea Froese of Abbotsford had a dream of building a home to help families going through the same challenges they faced...

Doug and Andrea Froese of Abbotsford had a dream of building a home to help families going through the same challenges they faced as the parents of a child with severe disabilities.

They wanted to provide a break for these mothers and fathers, who face the stress of providing loving 24/7 care for their children. But they also wanted a place where kids could have a safe and nurturing “home away from home” experience under the care of medical professionals.

They wanted to name it Matthew’s House in honour of their son.

Last Thursday, the Froeses were on hand for the grand opening of the centre, which is part of the Campus of Care project on Marshall Road adjacent to Abbotsford Regional Hospital.

Sadly, Matthew passed away in August 2010 at the age of nine, but his spirit was strong at the celebration.

Doug and Andrea remarked on the community support that helped bring their vision to fruition. This included financial contributors, construction partners, and others.

Without them, Matthew’s House could not have been built, they observed.

As Matthew’s House prepares to welcome its first guest, the two other Campus of Care projects are still under construction.

Canuck Place Children’s Hospice is set to open early in the new year – but the Abbotsford Hospice Society’s Holmberg House reported last week that it has faced a slowdown in funding.

About another $3.7 million is required to complete construction of the facility, which will provide a home-like environment for adults who are dying, as well as support services for their families.

It’s time for the community to rally to bring this world-class project to completion, as it did for Matthew’s House. Visit abbotsfordhospice.org to donate.