On Sept. 21, she'll show her gratitude by participating in the 6th annual Walk of Remembrance. The hospice expects 1,000 participants for this year’s walk, as families, teams and individuals honor and celebrate the loved ones they’ve lost.
For Ojala, the pain of loss is still fresh. Melvin died on Nov. 12, 2012, just eight months after he first became ill. After his last hospitalization, Ojala contacted Angela Hospice.
"It was like night and day," she said of the difference between the hospital and the hospice. "He was treated like he was somebody. He wasn't afraid to die, he just didn't want to suffer."
The staff at Angela Hospice made Melvin feel comfortable, Ojala said, right to the very end. "It was a peaceful death."
Now, she wants to ensure others have access to Angela Hospice services. Donations will go to support bereavement and grief support programs offered free to anyone in the community, not just those who have used the hospice’s care.
"I wanted to make sure that people will get help who need help," Ojala said.
Pre-registration for the Walk of Remembrance includes a commemorative T-shirt and lanyard. Entry fee for adults is $25 (increases to $35 the day of event); children 6-12 are $10; ages 5 and under are free and do not need to register. Day of event registration begins at 8 a.m.
For more information, contact Events Coordinator Larry Kralowski at 734-953-6045, or visit AskForAngela.com.