On Friday, we will begin posting our riders’ profiles and photos. New team members have joined many returning cyclists to raise awareness about palliative care. We will ride to remember the patients of the Wishard/Eskenazi Palliative Care Program who died in 2012. Any money donated to the ride will go to support the care of seriously ill patients of Marion County at the new Eskenazi Health.
· No One Dies Alone (NODA) – this is a new program that we hope to implement for our patients who have no loved ones close by. Through volunteers, we hope to provide companionship and vigils for our dying patients. We believe that each life is important and we want to make sure that our patients, who would otherwise leave this world alone, feel that someone, indeed, cares.
· Bereavement Program – for those patients who are fortunate to have loved ones close by, we would like them to know that their families and friends will be comforted when they are gone. Our Palliative Care Team recognizes that grief has physical, social, and behavioral dimensions that often require professional attention. In order for us to provide comprehensive palliative care for our city’s less fortunate, we need to enhance our existing bereavement services.
· Memorial Services – these services are held in memory of our departed patients. They offer our patients’ families and our Wishard community opportunity to remember, reflect, and honor our patients.
All money raised will go towards funding each of these areas. I am hoping that you and your colleagues can help us reach our goal.
Donations can be made by:
· Check sent to the Eskenazi Health Foundation Attention: Palliative Care Program #642, 1001 W 10th Street, Indianapolis, IN 46202.
· Online at Wishard Palliative Care Program / Bereavement Program http://eskenazihealthfoundation.org/. In the upper right hand corner of the header, click Donate, which will pull up the Registration screen. After you register, click continue to make a donation. You can reference the account with either Wishard Palliative Care Program / Bereavement or account #642.
Our team carried laminated cards with the names of more than 700 patients, family and friends who have died since our last Ride to Remember in 2009. Each team member rode 160 miles on Saturday, July 16th in their memory. To date, sponsors, friends and other well-wishers have contributed more than $17,000 to this year’s ride in support of our Palliative Care bereavement program!
On July 16th, a new Wishard Bike Team will participate in the Ride Across Indiana (RAIN) in order to raise awareness about Palliative Care and to remember our patients who have died since Dr. Greg’s first Ride to Remember in 2009. Return to this blog to view regular updates on this event. To learn more, contact Mr. Tom Whitehead at (317) 630-7767 or email: email@example.com
Look for our announcement in Sunday July 10th’s Indianapolis Star!
On Thursday October 22nd, we finally pedaled our way through Charleston, South Carolina and across the Cooper River over a fantastic bridge giving us our first glimpse of the Atlantic Ocean. Oh, Happy Day! After a quick stop at Poe’s Tavern (as in Edgar Allen), we rode together, 16 strong in our Trek Cross Country jerseys to the Boardwalk at Wild Dunes on the Isle of Palms.
It is difficult to describe the depth of emotions, but happiness was near the top. Now that the trip is over, I can admit that I had my doubts along the way. Most of these were before I left for California but I also seriously considered calling it quits during the first week. The Mojave Desert was beautiful but it wasn’t a lot of fun. I don’t think one is supposed to ride a bike across it. The desert begs for another mode of transportation: an airplane comes to mind.
But I had to get to Poplar Bluff, Missouri to see Hilbert Joseph Gramelspacher. At that point, we were more than half way and I knew that I could make it to Nashville for another day of rest. We only had seven more days of riding and some flat terrain ahead once we cleared the Great Smokeys and the Blue Ridge Mountains. How I love the flats…
I know that I could not have completed this trip without our intrepid Trek guides, Dave “Big Wave” Edwards and Eric “Mr. Bill” Berkas. Also, Tara “the not-so-tender-tenderizer” kept our muscles supple enough to pedal each day and finally, sweet Bet who never failed to arrange everything with a smile. Thousands of thanks to each of them for their tireless efforts and impeccable professionalism over thousands of miles.
Each of these 3280 miles was ridden in memory of a particular person. During the past 40 days, Drs. Lyle Fettig and Rafael Rosario continued to care for the dying poor in Indianapolis with expert help of Mary Smith-Healy, Karen Estle, Judy Hetzel, Brenda Mason and Christine Slater-Turner. Our labors of love for our patients do not stop with the end of this ride. I look forward to joining the home team on Monday. The journey continues because it’s about how you live.
Finally, I’m certain that I could not have found two better people to ride with than Katherine “Kryptonite” Dayem and Mike “Smash Mouth” Hobin. These two excellent cyclists have become even more excellent friends and I can’t wait to ride with them again. I am missing them…
Ten years ago, Wishard Hospital established a Palliative Care Program to provide comprehensive and compassionate care to every patient and family faced with life limiting conditions. To celebrate our 10th Anniversary and to memorialize more than 3000 patients who we have cared for, Dr. Greg Gramelspacher will attempt to ride his bicycle 3,280-miles across the United States. Dr. Greg’s Ride To Remember is a testament to the deep impressions made by the many patients whose lives have touched the staff of Wishard’s program, and to the core principles of Palliative Care.
Every person, regardless of financial and personal circumstances, deserves to spend his or her final days free of pain and distressing symptoms supported by a loving team of caregivers who are committed to non-abandonment. Each mile of Dr. Greg’s ride is dedicated to a patient or to someone’s loved one. Beginning September 14th, this website’s blog will share some of the most inspirational stories of these unforgettable patients and their families. Each story for the Ride To Remember testifies to the courage, love, and strength of those who have touched the lives of the Wishard Palliative Care team.
Palliative care is not about death and dying, but rather about life and living, helping each person enjoy the fullness of life until the last breathe is gone.