Ben Huber accepting accolades

Dreams Cut Short, But Family Comes Together

When NorthBay Hospice’s Dream of a Lifetime team hears that a hospice patient has a wish, they swing into action fast, because time is usually of the essence.

The Dream of a Lifetime program is the only adult-wish granting program in the U.S. and wishes are granted using funds generously donated by members of the community to NorthBay Healthcare Foundation.

Several Dreams were fulfilled in 2018, including one for Jessie Salsman (right), a NorthBay Hospice patient who had been diagnosed with a fast-developing form of Amyotropic Lateral Sclerosis (ALS). Jessie had expressed hope that his son, Jeremy, daughter-in-law Krystal and granddaughter Layla could come for a visit. However, Jeremy’s Army assignment was in Germany and the family was having a hard time completing travel arrangements.

NorthBay Hospice and Dream Team members turned to Wendy Wasserman of Wasserman Travel in Vacaville, and member of the NorthBay Healthcare Foundation board of directors, to help the family make their way from Kansas, where the Air Force had flown them, to California. Unfortunately, Jessie passed away the day before they arrived.

Later in 2018, the Dream Team helped fulfill a wish for NorthBay Cancer Center patient Patsy Harpe (above), whose dream was to have a Celebration of Life gathering for friends and family so that she could say thank you and goodbye. “Patsy was excited to see family and friends she had not seen for many years,” explained Thrieza Zapanta, clinical social worker for Hospice. The event was scheduled for Nov. 4 but, unfortunately, Patsy passed the night before, surrounded by family. Her family, including Patsy’s daughters, Layce Little and Kelli, chose to continue with the event, noting that Patsy would have wanted them to gather and celebrate life, according to Zapanta.