"Until their last breath." It's a real life love story...
And the ending depends on you. Please give $35 so we can help people like Noelene and John live joyfully, until the very end.
A penniless musician named John meets a student nurse called Noelene… they are just nineteen years old.
You can imagine how this story goes. "We were attracted to each other the first time we met," remembers John. "Noelene had a big heart, a great sense of fun. And ‘joie de vivre'."
Joie de vivre, the joy of living, is what this letter is about… Which might sound strange because if you've heard of us, you'll know that here at Mercy Hospice Auckland, we often walk with people through their final months, weeks and days of life.
Yet joyful living is at the heart of our work. And I'm writing today to ask you to help people like Noelene live joyfully, right until the end of their story.
"That's how Noelene lived," John says, "whether she was knitting a jumper or fixing the mower. Noelene gave things a go and was always on the go."
John married his sweetheart two years after he first laid eyes on her. And they had four beautiful children – Sarah, Matthew, Mandy and Emily. Noelene also finished her nursing degree, specialising in palliative care. "She loved nursing," John says, "palliative care was her ‘calling'.
"She was passionate about helping people live life to the fullest – until their last breath."
That's our passion too. And it's our privilege to offer families the support to do this, over the difficult – and often heartbreaking - journey with illness.
Yet to give this care, we rely on donations from our generous local community. This is why I'm hoping you can give $35 today, to make our highly specialised care available for families like Noelene's.
After forty-three years of marriage to John, Noelene was diagnosed with ovarian cancer. She came to us in the final months of her battle.
"Noelene was extremely lucky to have the support of Mercy Hospice. Just as she had done for many others, they enabled her to die how she wanted," says John, "She loved to think that everyone could be offered the same kind of support."
Here at Mercy Hospice, we know that when you reach the end of the journey with someone you deeply care for – like John loves Noelene - joyful memories are the only ones worth remembering.
That's why we're committed to helping families celebrate them. Please help us make this possible for someone like Noelene, and her beloved John.
If you can give $35, you'll help us provide:
- Specialist palliative care and hospice services for people facing serious illness.
- Our nurses to have the expertise and training to care for people with the utmost professional skill and compassion.
- Support to families, friends and carers to help them walk alongside their loved ones.
With your support, we'll offer these services to families for free, so that everyone can face illness with courage and strength.
In return for your support, I give you my word that every gift you give – small or large – will help Mercy Hospice Auckland continue to provide a very special service.
You see we've been doing this work for 35 years. And over this time, we've learned that every person comes to us with a rich history of their own. So we respond to everyone's physical, emotional and spiritual needs individually. We honour everyone's story.
That might be the most wonderful legacy of Noelene and John.
If their love story moves you to support Mercy Hospice, then someone else will know joie de vivre, just like they did – as Noelene herself said: "until your last breath!"
I thank you in advance for making our vital work possible.
Chief Executive Officer
Mercy Hospice Auckland
P.S. When you give $35 to support Mercy Hospice Auckland, you’ll give a family like Noelene and John’s the support to face illness – and make every moment special, until the very end.