Page 2 - Senior Times South Central Michigan - July 2018 - 25-07
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Page 2 Senior Times - July 2018
By: Tim Mitchell, Fund Development Coordinator, CentraCare
For many years Fernalene and her daughter were separated geographically, she in Michigan and her daughter in California. As one can imag- ine, the desire for mother and daughter to see each other grew more intense as the years contin- ued to roll on. However, Fernalene’s 80 year old daughter was not in good health and 97 year-old Fernalene, while physically and medically able to make the cross-country trip, lacked the finances to make it happen.
After becoming a participant at CentraCare within the last year, Fernalene became aware of CentraCare’s Fulfill a Dream program, which
is an employee funded initiative designed to
help the participants experience any unfulfilled dreams. For some participants this has been going to a Detroit Tigers baseball game at Comerica Park and shaking hands with Miguel Cabrera,
or attending a Josh Groban concert, or going on
a fishing trip that was reminiscent of younger years. However, for Fernalene it was a dream to simply see her daughter one more time.
While the miles created geographic distance, the love the 97 year-old widow had for her 80 year-old daughter never wavered or lessened
in the least. In conversation with Dottie, one
of CentraCare’s home care workers, one day Fernalene expressed her desire to be able to see her daughter one more time. Dottie’s mind imme- diately went to the Fulfill a Dream program and recommended to Fernalene that she fill out an application to see if her dream could be fulfilled.
After receiving Fernalene’s application, the wheels began turning within the Fulfill a Dream Committee. There were so many things to con- sider. Is Fernalene’s health good enough to make this trip? Does she need someone to accompany her? How much will it cost? The myriad of ques- tions were soon turned into answers. However, Fernalene had no family or companion that could make the trip with her. After careful consider-
ation, Fernalene’s doctor said she was not only physically able to make the trip, but she would be able to fly solo.
The plan was set. A round trip direct flight ticket was purchased. Fernalene’s social worker spoke to her daughter in California to make sure someone would be able to pick her up at the air- port when she arrived and made sure someone was able to take her to the airport in Michigan for her flight out. She also made sure someone from the airline would assist Fernalene getting on and off the airplane as well as keep a watchful eye on her during the flight.
The day finally came and Fernalene boarded her flight. With the anxiousness of a child on Christmas Eve, Fernalene’s dream was becoming a reality. The entire trip went according to plan. The airline personnel were very attentive and her
rides to and from the airport were on time. The logistics worked out perfectly! Fernalene was able to spend several wonderful days with her 80 year-old daughter reminiscing and simply catching up on the many years they had been separated.
Fernalene intuitively suspected this would be the last time she would ever see her daughter. And, she was right. A few days before Fernalene was to return home, her 80 year-old daughter passed away. While her daughter was in ill health, there was no expectation that her death would occur while Fernalene was there. It was indeed
a bittersweet visit, but Fernalene was extremely grateful that she was able to see her daughter one more time.
The Fulfill a Dream program demonstrates that you’re never too old for dreams to come true.
Thanks to the employees at CentraCare who personally funded this trip through voluntary reg- ular payroll deductions to the employee initiated Fulfill a Dream program, Fernalene was able to see her dream fulfilled, to see her daughter one more time. “It’s a family here,” said Fernalene’s social worker, April Davenport, “We care for the individuals entrusted to us just as though they were our own family. I am so grateful to the employees of CentraCare for making this trip possible for Fernalene. It just demonstrates that you’re never too old for dreams to come true. While we are saddened by the loss of her daugh- ter, we are so thankful that she was able to see her just one more time, just as she requested.”
To learn more about the caring staff and tremendous work done at CentraCare, please visit the website at or the Facebook page at care.
Caregivers, Are You Tired?
Let Us Help.
For dates, times, and to register, please contact Donna at (269) 441-9319
CentraCare’s experienced staff will lovingly care for your elderly loved one at our Battle Creek Day Center location to give you relief. At NO CHARGE* to you! WE PROVIDE: Transportation, Nutritious Meal & Snack, Socialization, Assistance with Personal Care, and Cognitively Stimulating Activities.
200 W. Michigan Avenue | Battle Creek, MI 49017 | 269-441-9300 | *Funds for this program are made available through a grant from the Calhoun County Senior Millage and Blue Cross/Blue Shield of Michigan Foundation

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