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5K to Benefit Programs at Hospice of the Piedmont - NBC29 WVIR Charlottesville, VA News, Sports and Weather

5K to Benefit Programs at Hospice of the Piedmont

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Hospice of the Piedmont Hospice of the Piedmont
CHARLOTTESVILLE, Va (WVIR) -

A central Virginia nonprofit is expanding its care for people in their final days and family members grieving the loss. Hospice of the Piedmont is now providing care for terminally ill children and counseling for kids who've lost a loved one.

The Run and Remember 5K at Keswick Club Saturday will benefit the hospice. Race volunteers hope to raise $50,000 for the programs that provide personal support for patients and families.

Rachel Riedel cares for people in their dying days at Hospice of the Piedmont. Riedel was going through nursing school when her mother passed away under the care of the hospice.

“It made a huge difference for me to know I was surrounded by a team of professionals and specialists to answer questions or to guide me,” said Riedel.

The nonprofit's nurses and counselors work with patients and their families in those final days or weeks.

“What we do, basically, is manage pain and symptoms so people can say the things they need to say, do the things they need to do, and live life to its fullest for the last weeks or even months,” said James Avert, Hospice of the Piedmont CEO.

Hospice cares for about 300 patients in central Virginia each year. Its new center for children is extending services to terminal children and kids coping with a loved one's loss.

“We found that children - and even grandchildren - their grades were plummeting in school, they had problems with sleep. We felt we needed a dedicated program to meet the needs of children,” said Avery.

That program, as well as services for people who can't afford hospice care, will benefit from the volunteer-run race this Saturday.

“A place like this - anyone can come to hospice house. Some people are able to pay. Some people cannot. We do not do any of it on the basis of who can contribute,” said Melba Campbell, hospice board member.

Riedel hopes she can offer other families the soothing support hospice provided her through the dying process.

“It's spiritual, social, and physical,” said Riedel.

Hospice volunteers expect 300 runners at Saturday’s 5K at the Keswick Club. Registration is going on now online. To sign up, click here.

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