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Client Story: A letter from Lisa Giannopoulos

Lisa Giannopoulos’s husband was a PCSE client who participated in the ‘Sharing My Story’ program. This letter outlines her experiences working with one of our volunteers, Glenyse Duck, to put together his personal biography.

“I am writing regarding volunteer Glenyse Duck who assisted my husband, Con, in completing his life story before he passed from his palliative care diagnosis. Glenyse was amazing, there are no other words for it.

It started in December 2019 when my husband told me he would like to write his biography after talking about the volunteer ‘Sharing My Story’ program with one of the PCSE staff. The only issue was his limited English skills, but Glenyse said she was still happy to assist if I was able to translate.

We started with the home visitations which Con really enjoyed. Glenyse was even happy to come to the hospital at least two or three times when he was admitted. Then the pandemic hit. We were disheartened to hear that the visitations were to stop but relived when Glenyse told us she could still support Con to complete his biography in different ways.

Glenyse called us over the phone, sent emails and text messages but the greatest part was when she was able to help us (over the phone) to download and use Zoom. This was new to us, but she made us feel better when she said she was also learning and that we could all learn together. To be able to see her face again and talk with her gave Con so much joy. It was also a bit of a relief for him to know he could still finish his biography by seeing Glenyse, not just talking over a phone call, as he really enjoyed chatting with her and missed her visits.

Using Zoom was great and Glenyse was very patient and understanding, with no worries as to how much extra time it took to complete Con’s biography. Glenyse went way beyond what we expected. She emailed us regular updates on the progress of the biography instead of providing hard copies, and she checked in with Con and I with text messages and scheduleded phone calls. She always asks about the family and she even sent me a birthday card because I was sad that I could not celebrate with her.

We really missed what the visits gave us but having Glenyse make sure we got the next best options by using Zoom and doing whatever she could to support us has been indescribable. She is a wonderful person and we are so fortunate that she helped Con. We would highly recommend her and the biography program at PCSE, especially with what Glenyse did to make sure Con’s biography was completed through this pandemic. Glenyse is someone I would consider calling a friend even though the biography is finished, and we are forever grateful for what she has done for our family.”

If you would like to make a donation to support our biography volunteer program please click here.

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