In the News
September 26, 2017
Care Dimensions’ Walk for Hospice in Danvers celebrates 30 years
One family reflects on its reason for participating in the Walk each year.
Glenn Boutchie Jr. recalled the drizzly, cold Sunday morning in October 2008 when he woke his grandmother to ask if she still wanted to participate with the family in the annual Walk for Hospice in Danvers.
It had been one month since his grandmother was diagnosed with cancer and the oncologist had given her a six-month prognosis.
To Glenn’s surprise, her reply was a quick “definitely.”
The Walk for Hospice, which benefits Care Dimensions, a provider of hospice and palliative care services, is a three-mile walk that begins at St. John’s Preparatory School in Danvers. This year, several thousand walkers took part in Care Dimensions 30th annual hospice walk.
Glenn, his wife Sharon Boutchie, and their daughters Julia and Jessica, with their cousin Heather Connerty and family friend Jodi Schwartz, formed “Team Boutchie” for the 2008 Walk for Hospice. The team continues to honor the memory of their grandmother, great-grandmother and friend, Muriel Boutchie.
Glenn, who has served as co-chairman on the Walk Committee since 2014, said the Walk was a fundraising campaign and the funds collected are used to improve hospice care.
He reflected on his own family’s experience with hospice care.
In September 2008, his grandmother was involved in a multiple car accident at an intersection about two miles from their Danvers home. She was rushed to Beverly Hospital, where Emergency Room doctors ran routine tests to make sure everything was fine.
Those tests revealed to doctors his grandmother “was filled up with cancer,” Glenn said. The cancer started in her lungs, but also spread to her stomach, liver and brain.
“The doctors told us that there really wasn’t a lot that they could do for her,” he said.
The ER doctors sent her to an oncologist, who gave her two options. Boutchie said the first option was for her “to have chemo and radiation and possibly become really sick and not be able to do anything.” The second option was for her to leave the rest of her life “in control and be able to do the things she wants to do and have quality for the remaining stages.”
He said Muriel opted for hospice care because Glenn’s wife, Sharon, worked for Care Dimensions in Danvers.
“I’ve seen the good [hospice] can do, and my family and I have been touched by it,” Glenn said.
He recalled how happy his grandmother was that September in 2008, a month after her diagnosis, when she got off the wheelchair and they walked together as Team Boutchie. When she saw a large number of people who were there for the same purpose, she said it was a beautiful day, even though it was freezing.
“I think she was just grateful to be outside and to be among people, because she knew what was coming,” he said.
Care Dimensions won The Circle of Life Award in 2015, and it is the “largest hospice in Massachusetts.” The website said that the purpose of the Walk is to appreciate “the lives, courage and memories of our loved ones while raising funds to provide comprehensive and compassionate end-of-life care for residents of 90 communities throughout Eastern Massachusetts.”
Special Events Manager Susan Rogers said in an email that “walkers provide a presence and comfort to those in grief; they are not alone.”
Rogers said those who supported the 2017 Walk for Hospice “can be proud of the impact their charitable gift will make on improving the quality of life for so many in our community.”
Glenn shared on his blog his desire to support others so they can “live out their remaining time as they wish.”
He also wrote that even though he is “saddened” by his grandmother’s death, he is thankful that hospice by Care Dimensions enabled his grandmother “to live life as she wanted.”