A four-person Race Across America (RAAM) cycling team from North Carolina has selected Hospice of the Chesapeake as one of 12 sister hospices to highlight as they ride 3,020 miles from Oceanside, California to Annapolis, Maryland.
Since 2012, Team Tri For Hospice has been cycling in events to raise funds and awareness for Hospice and Palliative Care of Greensboro, a hospice serving the Triad region of North Carolina. They decided this year to expand their scope to a national stage in an effort to promote a wider, healthier conversation about death and dying. To achieve this goal, they plan to highlight a nonprofit hospice in each of the 12 states they will travel through on their website and social media pages as they participate in RAAM from June 18 to 25 with a planned arrival in downtown Annapolis sometime in the afternoon of the 25th. Hospice of the Chesapeake was chosen to be spotlighted during their travels through Maryland.
Hospice of the Chesapeake chose its grief support camps for children as the program focus given that the cross-continental race is an outdoor adventure and a model for teamwork. Camp Nabi, a weekend camp for grieving children ages 6 to 13, provides time for children to share their stories, play and work together while also enjoying camp activities. Now in its 25th year, it has served more than a thousand children. Phoenix Rising, a weekend retreat for teens, teaches resiliency and coping strategies through team-building activities. Both camps will be held Aug. 12 to 14 at Arlington Echo in Millersville.
“We are excited to partner with the Tri For Hospice team as they ride through Maryland,” said Hospice of the Chesapeake President and CEO Ben Marcantonio. “Their compassion, dedication and endurance are an inspiration to the kids who will be working through their own challenges at our camps in August.”
Each member of the Tri For Hospice has a personal connection with hospice services. Karen Buxton of Greensboro, N.C., said the care, compassion, assistance and reassurance the hospice staff provided to her brother in his last few months of a 10-year battle with colon cancer was immeasurable. Becky Sage of High Point, said hospice was instrumental in allowing the final wishes of her father and mother-in-law to be carried out to the end with grace and dignity. Registered nurse Chip Harris and Dr. Charles Fields have both seen the important work of hospice professionals in their own health careers.
Though riding to raise funds for Hospice and Palliative Care of Greensboro in their home state, the team seeks to use the race as a platform to spread the message that hospices like Hospice of the Chesapeake provide support, guidance and care not only for those living with life-limiting illness but also to families, friends and caregivers.
“Together, we can directly help individuals and their families receive the same wonderful care my brother received, regardless of ability to pay, and to ‘start the conversation’ about healthier ways to deal with end-of-life issues.” Buxton said.
For details about the team and the race, visit www.triforhospice.com and www.raceacrossamerica.org. For details about Hospice of the Chesapeake’s children’s bereavement camps, visit www.chesapeakelifecenter.org/camp-nabi.