In February 2014, just three weeks after the birth of their daughter, Melissa’s husband Joe was diagnosed with an inoperable brain tumour. As the primary caregiver for her husband and their two children, Melissa tried her best to keep a positive attitude, but she was slowly unravelling. Feeling overwhelmed and scared, she realized that she could no longer do it alone. “That’s when I received a call from Hospice Vaughan, asking if I needed any help,” Melissa recalls. The Martelli’s were assigned an in-home visiting volunteer. “She was a wonderful, kind, and nurturing woman who came to our home and helped me with the children,” Melissa explains. Both Melissa and Joe also received grief counselling and spiritual support from Hospice Vaughan. “Hospice Vaughan was there for my family at a time when we were most vulnerable and the services they provided were fundamental in ensuring we were all well cared for” said Melissa. Melissa’s generous donation in memory of Joe Martelli will support the Family Kitchen at the new 10-bed residential facility and Centre of Excellence for Hospice and Palliative Care, slated to open in 2019. “Hospice Vaughan is necessary and valuable” said Melissa, adding that she hopes that by sharing her story, others will also be inspired to give to this worthwhile cause. “Their kindness and support is a strong example of what it means to be a part of a community”. Belinda Marchese, Executive Director of Hospice Vaughan, called Melissa a genuine ambassador for Hospice Vaughan, and added, “It is a true testament to the services we provide when individuals we have supported, after their time of healing, want to give back to our organization through either a financial donation, or by volunteering their time and energy. Melissa understands first-hand the need for a facility that will bring compassionate care to those with life-limiting illnesses and their loved ones. We are so grateful to Melissa for her donation to our “Better Ending” Capital Campaign which will help us build our new Hospice and expand our services so that others like her can also be supported in their time of need and grief.” About Hospice Vaughan Since 1995, Hospice Vaughan, a not-for-profit organization, has been providing compassionate support to individuals facing a life-limiting illness or the loss of a loved one. We provide in-home visiting volunteers, a day program and grief and bereavement support. Our services extend out to caregivers, family members and friends who also need support in their time of need and grief. All our programs and services are free of charge for individuals of all ages.