Janet’s Story

In 2003, my world turned upside down. My 80-year-old father, who was the picture of health, had a massive stroke in Pennsylvania. As a registered nurse, I thought I could help navigate the health care system, but found that I needed guidance and education during the next seven years of his life. I believe my dad’s health care crisis led me to be “called” to a hospice career.

Janet's Story 1

A year later, I began my journey as the Director of Clinical Operations at Ionia Area Hospice & Stoneleigh Residence. Since I had worked most of my adult nursing career in home health care, I now needed to learn what it meant to ‘be’ a hospice nurse. I quickly realized just how important this role was to the patient and family. It was an honor.

I often think about the choices my family made during my dad’s care and the way his hospice did little to help or guide us. I was not able to put aside my nursing education and just be his daughter. It broke my heart to watch him struggle and fight until the very end. I vowed afterwards that this would never happen to another family on my watch.

From that day forward, I charged the Ionia Area Hospice & Stoneleigh Residence teams to make sure that each patient and family is given our full attention and treated with respect. Our patients only get one chance to have a peaceful, comfortable, dignified death. Every family should have the satisfaction of knowing their loved one received the best care possible.

I still learn something new each and every day as I work with our patients, families, community and staff. It is still an honor.

That is why I am reaching out, to ask you to honor us by making a tax-deductible gift today – as much as you can afford – to help Ionia Area Hospice & Stoneleigh Residence continue our mission: to serve all by bringing kindness, respect, and quality to the end-of-life.

Our non-profit, community hospice is facing many challenges and we need your help. With the rising cost of care without an increase in insurance payments, fewer patients to serve due to heavy competition from other hospices and maintenance expenses for our beautiful facility, Stoneleigh Residence, your role in keeping this agency going is just as important as mine!

This is the straight forward, honest truth.

The kind of care that Ionia Area Hospice & Stoneleigh Residence provides just isn’t available anywhere else. No other hospice will spend as much time with you and your loved one as we do.

  • With your help, a gift of $100 will offset the cost of mileage to send our nurses and aides out – no matter the hour and location – anywhere in our 10 county service area, for regular visits and around the clock care.
  • Your gift of $200 will help Ionia Area Hospice & Stoneleigh Residence provide life enhancing therapies, like music, massage, pet therapy and spiritual support. Often times the moment a loved one sings along to a favorite song or smiles as they touch the soft fur of an animal becomes a treasured memory.
  • Your gift of $500 will help offset the cost of unexpected expenses like, plumbing repairs at Stoneleigh Residence, specialized medical equipment or high cost prescription medicine. (Donations of this amount are made with faith and courage and giving this amount for two years will qualify you to become a member of our special “Lotus Society” along with several additional courtesies.)
Janet's Story 2

I know that some of the items above may not seem life changing to you, but they will make a difference to everyone that Ionia Area Hospice & Stoneleigh Residence serves. Your gift can help make the last part of someone’s life, the best part.

I never thought I would love being a hospice nurse. I mean, let’s be honest…who could enjoy caring for dying patients all the time? However, at Ionia Area Hospice, we focus on living your life, no matter how much time you have left.

As I wrote earlier, this work is an honor… and I know my dad would be proud of my accomplishments here. I miss his unconditional love and his belief that I could achieve anything I wanted. What I want most of all, is to see Ionia Area Hospice & Stoneleigh Residence thrive through our challenges and be available help others for many years to come. As my retirement quickly approaches, I no longer have the power to make this happen on a day to day basis. But you can. I ask that you please follow your heart and give as generously as you can manage.

With sincere thanks,
Janet Martinich, BSN