What My Hospice means is different to each individual and family we serve. For Eliza, it meant being able to recreate the prom she never got to experience in high school. As Medicare’s first coordinated care model, we must protect the Medicare Hospice Benefit so that patients like Eliza are able to continue to make special memories even in difficult circumstances.

When Care Dimensions hospice patient Eliza Mager and her cousins were making plans for her 22nd birthday, she had a unique request for the celebration: to turn it into a prom dance.

Diagnosed with cancer at age 17, Eliza eventually had to leave school, and missed much of what comes with those high school years. Her cousins loved the idea of the prom and started making plans. The professionals at Care got involved too, supporting Eliza and even arranging for a volunteer photographer to capture the big event.

Eliza’s sister and cousins helped her find a dress, and a friend applied her makeup and provided other touches to get her ready for the big night. After dinner and dancing – and a surprise engagement proposal of one of her cousins and his girlfriend – the group continued the celebration with a cake and a weekend sleepover.

Here’s what Eliza had to say about her birthday prom-party:

“I mentioned I had been unable to go to my prom because of my cancer treatments and suggested we have a birthday-prom event instead… We all got dressed up like it really was a prom. Everyone looked wonderful…. It was also bittersweet for everyone because of my illness. So, there was some crying, but lots of laughter. In the end, it was a really fun event, but more importantly, it was a great and special memory that we now all have.”

We invite you to keep promoting the power of hospice by joining the My Hospice campaign. Please consider sharing this post with your family and friends on Facebook and Twitter or share your My Hospice story with us.