On 10 August 2019, our beloved Derek died of an aggressive form of brain cancer called Glioblastoma Multiforme otherwise known as GBM. Thankfully he was surrounded by his wife, son, mother, father and sister-in-law in a comfortable palliative care room where he had been for the previous two weeks.
We were so grateful to the palliative care team who made Derek’s last two weeks of life as pain free and comfortable as possible.
Even though our experience of palliative care was a fairly positive one, we realised that there is a gap in the care that is available for people at the end of their lives who also have young families. The facility that Derek was in was not really appropriate for extended visits from young children which meant that his son was often bored and sometimes in the way. Also children were not supposed to stay overnight, meaning that Derek’s wife was forced to choose between being with her 4-year-old child to provide comfort and reassurance or with her husband. We don’t believe that is a choice any parent in her position should need to make.
So that is where the idea for Derek’s Place came from. Our vision is to build a place where families with young children, who are losing a loved one to terminal illness, can spend their final time together comfortably in a loving and home-like environment.