TMSG: Hospice Care Celebrates Life with Teddy Bear Tea - WLNS TV 6 Lansing - Jackson | Your Local News Leader

TMSG: Hospice Care Celebrates Life with Teddy Bear Tea

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(WLNS) - Hospice care is often looked at as a somber way to live out your last days of life.

But one local hospice says their hospice is about celebrating life and living it to the fullest.

The Hospice of Lansing is changing that somber mentality .... one teddy bear at a time.

"No one wants to think about hospice because they think they'e going to die in the next minute-- we're trying to change that.," says Heather Vida, director of Fund Development, Hospice of Lansing. 

Entering their 35th year of serving countless mid-michigan families Hospice of Lansing plans to make that change-- one teddy bear at a time.

Cindy Edwards, hospice nurse, adds, "The bear really symbolizes that affection and that love that families have with each other no matter what stage of life or no matter where they're at."

And Cindy says its not just bill the bear who helps make family friends and neigbors feel welcomed... It's the staff.

"Getting to know patients and families is the best thing in my job -- i just love it. If a patient wants sun on their face. They want to get outside. We make that happen even if we have to take the whole bed outside. We make it happen. If they want something special to eat or whatever....a patient wants -- that's why i do this," add Edwards.

And its that dedication to patients that family member Terry Talbert says made his father, a man battling an acute leukemia bone cancer, want to make hospice his home.

"He was just so appreciative of the staff and interacted with them and they all bonded to him very quickly. They just quickly connected. They talked they laughed they joked. It was just uh a pleasant experience," said Talbert.

And Cindy says they want the mid-Michigan community to witness that pleasant experience --at their first annual teddy bear tea,

"Sounds a little funny at first to say teddy bear tea with Hospice of Lansing. The two don't really go together. But they actually do because the whole point is to embrace the community and embrace families and really reach out to tell people its all about life. Its all about celebrating life," said Edwards. 

"You know we hear the saying we only have today and the truth of it is--we only have right now. We're not even guaranteed the end of today. So its just important to make the most of every moment in life," adds Talbert.

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