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'Piper's Fund' to help terminally ill children spend their last days at home

Posted: 3:53 PM, Dec 26, 2018
Updated: 2018-12-26 17:53:34-05
Piper Samuels
Piper Samuels

CLEVELAND — Piper Samuels was just six years old when she died after being diagnosed with a rare pediatric cancer.

But her memory is living on with ‘ Piper’s Fund’ — an endowment fund at the Hospice of the Western Reserve that has raised $400,000 in donations from family and friends already.

The Hospice of the Western Reserve is one of the few in the country that offers specialized pediatric hospice care, supporting the terminally ill child and their entire family.

For Piper, being at home meant being a kid again. For her family, the fund means giving other families and children that same chance.

“When kids are at home, they’re in their own environment so they’re able to even thrive still, even at the end of life,” said Jennifer Palmer, pediatric team leader.

It costs roughly $200,000 per year to care for the children in the program, according to Laurie Henrichsen with the Hospice of the Western Reserve. Each year, there are between 120 to 150 kids who are being cared for by the team.

“It’s a very specialized type of service, it’s all focused on enhancing the child’s quality of life,” Henrichsen said. “Not only controlling their symptoms and managing their pain, but doing everything that the team can to support the family as they’re going through this very difficult time.”

To donate to Piper’s Fund or learn more, click here .