To Hospice Patients, Granting a Simple Wish Can Bring Great Joy

Sharing-Wishes-FundWiley Moore had a simple wish – to go to Red Lobster for dinner. Unfortunately, Wiley was bedbound because of stage 4 cancer that had spread to his spine and brain. Leaving his home was not possible.

But, thanks to the Sharing Wishes Fund, he did get to enjoy a meal from Red Lobster earlier this year when a member of Memorial Home Services’ hospice team delivered it to his bedside

“He was really, really happy with it,” said Linda Moore, Wiley’s wife. “He just couldn’t get over that they brought Red Lobster to him and he was able to have that good food. He was like a little kid.”

Wiley’s surprise meal came about after his social worker with Memorial Home Services Hospice told Linda about the Sharing Wishes Fund. She asked Linda if her 64-year-old husband had any special requests or if the family needed assistance in any way.

On a snowy Saturday night in January, Diane Bevill, a Hospice volunteer since 1998, delivered dinner from Red Lobster to Wiley, Linda and their son. She also came with a card, flowers and Texas cake.

“We went out to eat to different places quite a bit before he got sick and I think he missed that,” Linda said. “Being bedbound you don’t get to go outside the house. It was like a magical night. Even though he couldn’t go to the restaurant, it came to him. And it made him feel pretty special that someone would actually do that for us.”

The Sharing Wishes Fund, which is administered through the Memorial Medical Center Foundation, launched in 2012 and has fulfilled the wishes of more than 70 terminally ill hospice patients and their families in central Illinois.

The Sharing Wishes Fund also provided the Moores with financial assistance to pay overdue gas and electric bills.

“That was a big relief for us and it took a lot of stress off of us to have that done,” Linda said. “We really did appreciate it.”

Linda was overcome with emotion when thinking about the people who have donated to the Sharing Wishes Fund.

“They would not believe how thankful we were to have someone do that and how it brought so much joy to us to have that dinner,” she said “We couldn’t afford to do it — and we couldn’t go out to do it. It was just a magical night. We are just so grateful, and there just aren’t words to express how much we did appreciate that.

“I know other people who are going through this. Whenever you can have a nice time and kind of forget about the cancer, it brings a lot of relief.”

Wiley passed away a few months after his Red Lobster dinner, but his family will always remember sharing his joy in a magical evening thanks to the Sharing Wishes Fund.

You can help make the wishes of hospice patients come true by attending Memorial’s third annual Hospice Gala on Saturday, April 12. Proceeds from the event support the Sharing Wishes Fund. Tickets are available online or by calling the Foundation at 788-4700.

If you are unable to attend, you can still help make wishes come true by donating to the Sharing Wishes Fund through the Memorial Medical Center Foundation.