A Blessing and a Gift
“Your child has cancer,” are four of the most terrifying words a parent can hear. Jeremy Borlin’s family first heard those words in 2013. They changed their world and started a journey that ended at the Hanson Hospice Center, where Jeremy spent his last days surrounded by friends and family. This precious time was a gift, creating memories to last a lifetime. His mom, Darci Borlin, shares Jeremy’s story:
"My son, Jeremy, was diagnosed with a brain tumor in June of 2013, at the age of eight years old. After two and one-half years, two surgeries, three hospitals, three rounds of chemo, and two stints of radiation, we were told they could do nothing more for him. On a Saturday evening, almost a month after he was dismissed from hospital care, Jeremy took a turn for the worse. A nurse and family friend was called, and came right over. She suggested taking Jeremy to the hospital or contacting hospice. Hospitals had become something that Jeremy didn’t want anything to do with, so that wasn’t an option. Another friend contacted Dr. Beckrow from Hospice at Home. That night the nurses and ambulance arrived, and Jeremy was transported to the Merlin and Carolyn Hanson Hospice Center.
Jeremy was at the Hanson Hospice Center for 17 days. During this time the staff, nurses, and doctors did everything for him. Having the comforts of home at this facility was fabulous, and we were able to have family there at any time of the day. My husband, Chris, and I stayed all night, so one of us could be awake with him at all times. We also felt very strongly about having our friends with us 24/7. Jeremy was kept very comfortable. He was able to play cards and games, and have friends visit. The medications that were provided allowed him to have normal days, and then transition peacefully.
The Hanson Hospice Center had everything we needed, and even provided food for us. One day someone brought puppies for Jeremy to see, and right outside our window we were able to view a whole family of turkeys. Jeremy’s friends visited and played outside, and our older son would go to the Great Room and play the piano. Our overflow
of guests would spill into the kitchen. Nobody was turned away unless we told them we needed our time.
Jeremy needed his friends, and his entire room was decorated by those who were praying for him, encouraging him, and wishing him well. The school rallied and everyone made cards and a big poster that we taped up along the wall around him. Each of the children made a hand print and wrote a few encouraging words for Jeremy. We tied them all together and strung them around his room.
One of our favorite memories at the Hanson Hospice Center was when our friends arranged an event in the Great Room for all of Jeremy’s classmates and their families. They had activities for the kids, including playing outside and movie night. Photos were taken of the entire event and put together in an album for us. This was an important day for Jeremy’s classmates as they had been with him on this journey, and it was a lot for them to process.
As Jeremy got stronger from regulating his medications, the staff said we could take him outside and go home. We were able to take him home to get the Christmas tree and house decorated, and he played video games with his brother, but at the end he was exhausted and really glad to go back to his room at the Hanson Hospice Center. Witnessing this helped us realize that we had made the right choice.
It was a blessing and a gift to be able to take my son, Jeremy, to the Hanson Hospice Center; it meant the world to our family. We are so lucky to have a facility like this right here in our community."
Darci shares more of the family's story in the video below: