Editor’s note: The following article was submitted by 10-year-old Brianna Dalelio, whose grandfather, Mike Dalelio, was cared for and passed away at the Care Dimensions Kaplan Family Hospice House in 2013. Brianna leads a Walk for Hospice team called “Papa’s Angels” in honor of Mike.
We started Papa’s Angels to raise money to help others. My Papa always said I was his angel, and when he passed away my mom said, “Remember, Papa called you his angel.” And I said, “Now Papa is my real angel.” That is why our Walk for Hospice team is called Papa’s Angels.
I remember going every day to the Kaplan Family Hospice House to visit my Papa. It is very nice and comforting there. They took very good care of him and were kind to us. It was sad, because my mom told me my Papa wasn’t going to get better. I cried a lot, but when I was at hospice with him, I felt okay because it was nice there and he was being taken care of. I don’t like to talk about it too much, because I still get very sad. I miss him every day.
We like to raise a lot of money during the walk because I know it goes to help not just the patients, but also their families. I know how the families feel when someone they love passes away. I like that Care Dimensions continues to help them. I want people to donate because it can help so many patients and families. I also think people should join the walk because it is a lot of fun and it is a nice way to remember a loved one. I will always remember my Papa, and I want everyone to know about him. He was my best friend and now my angel.
I love that Care Dimensions created Camp Stepping Stones. I go with my mom and we have a lot of fun. I like being with kids who know how I am feeling. We do lots of fun activities and get to have lunch with our parents. I like that I get to go with my mom because I know she is still very sad about losing my Papa, her Dad. The councilors at the camp are really nice and lots of fun. We are looking forward to going this year, again! My Nana put protective spray on the stepping stone I made during my first year at camp, and I brought it to the cemetery to my Papa. It is still there and looks great. I gave one to my Nana that she has in her garden.
At one of my Girl Scout meetings a few years ago, we talked about where we could donate cookies. I brought up the Kaplan Family Hospice House. When I started to explain to everyone how great they were to my Papa and why I wanted to donate to them, my mom started to cry and had to leave the room. She was very proud of me for coming up with the idea for my Papa. I have continued to do it every year. I like to give some cookies to the employees who are working the day I visit. I leave some in their break room and I leave some in the kitchen for the patients and their families. I want to help make them feel happy. I plan to keep bringing cookies for as long as I am a Girl Scout.