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Counting the Moments in 2016

The “Moments of Life: Made Possible by Hospice” campaign presented a steady stream of unique  stories throughout 2016.


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Counting the Moments in 2016

The “Moments of Life: Made Possible by Hospice” campaign presented a steady stream of unique  stories throughout 2016. Many of these moments were submitted by families, health care providers or patients, and all depict personal experiences with hospice and palliative care. Some of these moments are the last a family will have of their family member.  

To celebrate the many meaningful moments added to the campaign this year, we would like to offer a countdown of the most viewed submissions we have shared over the course of 2016.

10.  The Only Guaranteed Moment Is Now

The man in the picture is Tom McNally – a 66 year old groom who had just married his longtime girlfriend Lee Altizer. Tom was receiving hospice care, after being diagnosed with stage three multiple myeloma, when the decision to embrace this moment became clear. Tom had proposed to Lee months earlier, but after his health began to decline Tom’s care team at Hospice Care of America stepped in and took care of all the details in four days.  Tom and Lee did not wait for the minister to finish pronouncing them man and wife before exchanging their first kiss as newlyweds.  By the end of this story, “there was no more waiting.”  These newlyweds embraced that The Only Guaranteed Moment is Now.

Original story written by Liz Farrell with The Island Packet

9. In My Eleventh Hour: “I Wish I’d Had More Courage”

In My Eleventh Hour: “I Wish I’d Had More Courage” is a blog written by a trained hospice volunteer and speaker who has spent years sitting by the bedside of patients as they embark on their final moments. The writer uses the word ‘courage’ to describe her own thoughts on coming to the end of life, and offers observations of embracing a life well lived.

Submitted and written by Sandra Ford Walston, known as “The Courage Expert” and Hospice Volunteer

8. Honoring a Sole Survivor

Allie Philpot served in the United States Army during WW II. He was among the first troops to go ashore in Normandy and is the sole survivor from his unit. The hospice where this veteran is receiving end-of- life care is a “We Honor Veterans” program partner who made sure Mr. Philpot was honored for his service, and shared the moment with us in their submission Honoring a Sole Survivor.

Submitted by: Luis Sanchez, Hospice of Havasu

7. To Joey with Love

Singers Joey and Rory Feek filmed a documentary initially created by the duo to capture their most precious moments starting with the birth of their daughter. During the filming, Joey was unexpectedly diagnosed with cancer. The couple continued to record their lives as Joey underwent treatments and began receiving support from hospice. After Joey’s death, Rory presented the couple’s story on Capitol Hill spreading the message of hospice to lawmakers and then shared it with the public in select theaters nationwide. NHPCO is proud to share a clip of film To Joey, with Love on the “Moments of Life” campaign website, and explain the impact hospice had on this family.  

6. Arnie Makes a Splash 

 Arnie Pylkas didn’t live in the water, but it’s where he felt at home. Pictured here, on the left, as a young man he later became a successful aquatics director at the University of Searcy. At the age of 90, this former coach and mentor to so many is now at the end of his life. Despite physical limitations, the hospice providing care made sure Arnie was able to have his moment back in the pool, and his memorable goal was shared here in the story titled Arnie Makes a Splash.

Submitted by Corey Gilmore, Arkansas Hospice

5. Music Puts the Life Back in Me

Talented entertainer is just one of the skills this hospice patient reflects on during a day in which family, friends and hospice workers gathered to celebrate the life of LeRoy. This Army veteran and retired New York City transit employee gets into the swing of what landed him a spot on the Maury Show years ago. The memories of this day were shared in a submission titled Music Puts the Life Back in Me.

Submitted by: Audrey Waters MJHS Hospice

4. A Dance for Gloria  

A Dance for Gloria is an addition to the “Moments of Life” campaign that features the importance of culture and heritage. Gloria is an 85-year-old bilingual school teacher whose advanced illness prevented her from attending local festivities. The hospice that provided support for Gloria to stay in her own home, arranged the most fantastic surprise captured in a beautiful video. Gloria’s story serves as an important example of the efforts hospice professionals will go to make sure their patients are given a giant dose of understanding and support.

This video was chosen by NHPCO to continue an important initiative of increasing awareness to diverse audiences, and was translated and shared in the Spanish version Un Baile Para Gloria.

A special thank you to Sangre de Cristo Hospice.

3. Corynna’s Reflections 

Corynna Strawser was a teenager living with Mitochondrial Disease when she recorded a video with the help of a service many hospices offer called Life Review. At 16-years-old, Corynna made clear that the disease she lived with did not define her life. With the help from her mom, who is also a hospice nurse, this passionate girl hoped to have her messages of inspiration shared for anyone living with disease or illness. The “Moments of Life” campaign compiled pieces of the teenager’s story and shared it as Corynna’s Reflections.

We thank Corynna’s family for sharing this video, and State of the Heart Hospice for providing this life review opportunity.

2. A Program for the Love of Pets 

What happens to pets when an owner becomes seriously ill and can’t properly care for them? This emotional and practical issue is addressed in the story called A Program for the Love of Pets. In the video we learn more about Pet Peace of Mind – a program that is helping keep hospice patients and their pets together. The “Moments of Life” campaign shares the touching  video that follows one pet owner who finds herself in need of this unique program.

Learn more about Pet Peace of Mind by visiting their website.

1. Lyle’s Dream

Our number one Moment on the countdown is a dream! Just a few years ago, Lyle, a seemingly healthy and active teenager received a diagnosis of terminal lung disease and dermatomyositis. He is now 21 years old and losing his eye-sight. The Dream Foundation, an organization that works to support the dreams of adults at the end of their lives, surprised Lyle with a trip of a lifetime. We are able to see this amazing story in the video titled Lyle’s Hawaiian Dream.

To learn more about Dream Foundation, visit

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