A dream years in the making in the Cowichan Valley is just about ready to come true thanks to millions in funding that will build a hospice house for families going through their final days together. On Tuesday, Cowichan Hospice said it has nearly raised its goal to break ground on the project and as Skye Ryan reports, for those who’ve supported loved ones through their end of days, the project is a huge source of relief.
When she’s cuddling into her husband Bill’s favourite seat in the house, Iris Pasareno can still picture him taking his last longing look out on the ocean before he was taken to hospital and died.
Iris is so in love with her late husband that she still wears her wedding ring three years after he passed away and said she still misses him every day.
“I can say 100 per cent Bill always had my back and I always had his back.”
During his final days with melanoma cancer, she kept Bill at their Ladysmith home. She said she knew they were luckier than most and due to their circumstances, they both became passionate supporters of a hospice house in the Cowichan Valley as others did not have the option to stay at home.
Cowichan Hospice said on Tuesday that it has nearly hit the $10 million goal and property on Cairnsmore Street in Duncan has been donated to Island Health.
“This is huge. The hospital is overcrowded so we don’t want people to be dying there. We want them to be surrounded by their loved ones to have an experience at end of life that they can cherish,” Christa Fox, chairperson of the Cowichan Hospice House Task Force, said.
The 10-bed facility is expected to open to 2020. A date has not been set for the groundbreaking.