“We can do more” – Close to Home Honorary Co-Chairs Gene and Adele Dupuis are Champions of Hospice Care

Adele and Gene Dupuis are honorary co-chairs of the Close to Home Campaign for Hospice and End-of-life Care. (Photo courtesy of St. Paul's Hospital Foundation)

Article and photo courtesy of St. Paul’s Hospital Foundation

This interview appeared in the Spirit newsletter published by the St. Paul’s Hospital Foundation in Spring 2019.

For Gene and Adele Dupuis, the Close to Home Campaign for Hospice and End-of-life Care is a matter of helping families give their loved ones the same love and attention at the end of their life as at its beginning.

“Everyone has their own story as to why they support the causes that they do,” Adele says. “Though the stories may differ, the motivator is the same. It is a strong emotion that runs so deep that it makes us want to stand up and say—we can do better. We can do more.”

Both Gene and Adele have personally experienced the daunting challenges that families face when a member is diagnosed with a life-limiting illness. Adele and her family took care of their dying father at home until a bed opened up in St. Paul’s Hospital’s Palliative Care Unit. Gene’s brother Raymond died after receiving excellent care at Casey’s House, a hospice in Toronto. By comparison, a second brother, Denis, had a very different and difficult experience because his only choice was to remain in acute care until the last 36 hours of his life.

“From our own experiences with end-of-life care, we’ve gained a clearer perspective of what is needed to support patients and their families during this emotional time,” says Gene.

“When the health of your loved one begins to decline and treatment options become limited, it is critical that supportive palliative services are there,” Adele adds. “Sometimes that includes greater support for the families and the infirm in the home. Sometimes that includes a stay in a hospital’s palliative care ward or hospice.”

Gene and Adele are particularly pleased to be involved in a campaign that supports the full spectrum of end-of-life care.

“We are excited to be a part of this campaign because it seeks to increase the number of palliative care beds and supportive services for patients and families, [while it also] expands the palliative care educational opportunities for health care professionals,” Gene explains. “We want to see the appropriate treatment being delivered at the correct time by skilled and dedicated personnel.”

In addition to spending countless hours volunteering their time as the Close to Home Honorary Co-Chairs, Gene and Adele also made a significant donation of $700,000 to the campaign.

The Dupuis explain that over the years they have been blessed with success in their business, Prairie Meats, and believe in giving back to the community.

“Gene and I are cognizant of the blessings we have had in this lifetime. This community and province are important to us,” says Adele.

“We feel good knowing that we are able to support other families going through this experience and to help make the palliative care journey for our loved ones as comfortable as possible.”