My son Corey was one in a million.
From the time he was a little boy, he made the most of each day, brightening
the lives of everyone around himwith his smile, warmth, and humor. He
had a passion and a zest for life that was just extraordinary.
Corey graduated from Thomas Johnson High School with a football scholarship
to Shippensburg University. During one his games, he heard a "pop"
in his right arm. The tests that followed showed that Corey had synovial
sarcoma, a type of soft tissue cancer so rare that fewer than three individuals
out of a million are diagnosed with it each year.
At age 20, my one in a million son had a type of cancer that was just as
rare as he was. Over the next 5 years, Corey fought cancer with the same courage he had
always shown on the football field. Throughout treatment, he played football
while finishing his degree in geo-environmental studies. After graduation,
he was offered a job doing exactly what he'd always wanted to do...but
"happily-ever-after" was not to be.
His cancer returned four times. He was 24 when it returned for the last
time, once again in his lungs. Becasue he was already on the strongest
chemotherapy available, he decided to stop aggressive treatment. The quality
of life was more important to him than the quantity.
With this decision, Corey was refusing to let his circumstances rule his
life. He was choosing to live out the rest of his life on his own terms-
comfortably and at peace, giving and receiving love- with the people he
cared about most all around him.
That's when Frederick Health Hospice came into our lives. Hospice helped
Corey take control of his circumstances and turn them into something beautiful
and precious. For this and so many other reasons, I'd like to ask
you to join me in supporting Frederick Health Hospice.
Until Corey was ill, I never understood what a precious gift it truly is
to be able to keep your loved one at home during their last days.
Hospice made sure Corey had everything he needed to be as comfortable and
self-sufficient as possible- an adjustable hospital bed, all his medical
equipment, and an entire team of loving, caring people.
Corey's Hospice nurse, Stacey, took care of his medical needs, and
spent time talking to him to understand who he was and what his needs
and wants truly were. When filling prescription was difficult, Hospice
stepped in. Someone was always on call,available to help us should a situation
arise that were not sure how to handle. We never felt alone, and that
removed a great deal of anxiety for all of us.
With his pain managed and his symptoms relieved, Corey was free to live
every moment with remarkable joy and normalcy. He played video games with
his siblings, spent time with his girlfriend, and enjoyed all of his pets
snuggled up in bed beside him. His many friends came and went all day
long. We cooked the foods he loved. There was laughter and more than a
When he wanted to attend a couple of college football games with his friends,
Hospice fixed him up with a portable oxygen and away we went. The ability
to have those necessary items- portable oxygen, a wheelchair, or whatever
Corey needed- was priceless , and allowed him to live the way he was used
to- without limitations.
After a courageous battle, Corey passed away at home surrounded by family
and friends who loved him dearly.
Yet when i remember Corey's last two months on earth, I don't remember
watching him die. Instead, thanks to Hospice, I remember watching him
live- fully and fiercely, with remarkable normalcy and self- sufficiency,
until his very last day.
As we approach the holiday season, I reflect with deep gratitude on everything
Hospice did for Corey and our family. I will never be able to repay them
for what they did for us.
I hope you will join me in supporting Frederick Health Hospice with a year-end
gift to help them continue providing care to all who need it.