The extra care Maria and Brad Souder’s loved ones received at the end of life from Nathan Adelson Hospice convinced the couple to do more than simply donate. They volunteer and work to let everyone know how much of a difference hospice makes.
Maria and Brad have been donors and volunteers since 2008, when Nathan Adelson Hospice cared for Maria’s father. After Maria’s mother became ill in 2018, Maria recalled, “Putting my parents on Hospice was an easy decision. Both mom and dad wanted hospice care and had planned for their end of life well,” says Maria. “We were so impressed with the care, we plan to go to Nathan Adelson Hospice when our time comes,” adds Brad.
The Souder’s journey of care for their loved ones began after Maria’s father's extraordinary battle with cancer. The hospice staff admired his sense of humor and love of his family. He wanted to visit Red Rock Canyon one last time with his loved ones, so the Nathan Adelson Hospice staff worked to make a wonderful memory for the family. “He couldn’t see from the melanoma but loved the entire day. The smell, sounds, and feel of the park really moved him,” says Maria. “My dad’s life was a whole lot better. It was hard when he did go, but the way everything was taken care of made me know everything was okay.”
In 2018, Maria’s mother faced the end of her journey of life. “I made the decision with mom, made the call to Nathan Adelson, and mom was checked in the next day,” says Maria. At the same time, her husband Brad was undergoing cancer treatments. “Taking care of mom in hospice and Brad’s treatments, constantly running around, it was a ton of work,” says Maria. Nathan Adelson Hospice made a huge difference in her life during this time. “The beautiful room my mom was staying in had a little fridge and was set up for family members to stay extended amounts of time. They even provided an extra bed for my sister visiting from out of town,” says Maria.
The support the Souders received from Nathan Adelson Hospice was invaluable. Maria and Brad are grateful for the ease of admission and their ability to simply focus on Maria’s mother and father. During both parents’ stay, their spiritual needs were attended to by the Nathan Adelson Hospice chaplains. The Souder family regularly utilized the onsite chapels for church service. After the passing of each parent, The Souder Family utilized both the group and individual counseling sessions. “We felt the group sessions with Gayle were excellent. It didn’t make it easier, but helped with our triggers. The most impressive thing were all the people who attended, and were grieving, seeing them open up. I also like that anyone can attend, not just NAH patients and families,” says Brad.
Impressed with the mission of Nathan Adelson Hospice, Maria and Brad remain active donors and volunteers. They can often be found at health fairs distributing hospice information, delivering meals to patients and families, attending veteran pinning ceremonies, volunteering in the office, and greeting guests at events. “How rewarding and special volunteering is! In our time volunteering for NAH, we received excellent training, and we never heard a negative comment, and many just wanted to say thank you,” says Maria. Additionally, Brad is a leukemia survivor and they are very active with the Lymphoma and Leukemia Society too.
"We truly can’t say enough about NAH. From everyone to the cleaning people to the clinical staff, everyone was so compassionate and respectful. We had every question answered immediately. The wonderful part is the care isn’t just for the patient, but for our entire family too. They whole experience went above and beyond expectations at all times. We give because we’re helping people, those who cannot help themselves. We are paying it forward,” says Maria.