Wishard Palliative Care Program Sets Off on Cross-State Bike Trek to Honor Patients
Ride recognizes the nearly 5,000 patients served by Wishard's Palliative Care Program
CONTACT: Todd Harper
, July 12, 2012 -- On July 21, the Wishard Palliative Care Program
will embark on a third Ride to Remember (R2R3) in memory of the 400 patients who have been cared for by the program over the past year. Unlike the original 40-day-cross-country bicycle ride that Dr. Gregory Gramelspacher, medical director of the Wishard Palliative Care Program
, completed in 2009, this year a Wishard Bike Team of 49 riders will ride across the state of Indiana in a single day—one way, one day, 160 miles. The age of the Wishard
riders range from 20 to 70, and they come from all across the state of Indiana. As before, each mile of this bicycle ride will be dedicated to the memory of a Palliative Care patient.
Dr. Greg's Ride to Remember 3 will remember the lives of those cared for by the Wishard Palliative Care Program
and honor their families. The donations to the effort will enable Wishard to provide invaluable support and comfort for the families and friends of patients in the years ahead.
Since its formation nearly 15 years ago, the Wishard Palliative Care Program
has worked to improve the comfort and quality of life for all patients who face a life-limiting illness. Since it was formed in 1998, Wishard’s Palliative Care team has helped more than 4,800 patients and their families.
"The goal is to raise awareness about compassionate end-of-life care – especially for the dying poor – and to talk about palliative care," Dr. Gramelspacher said.
Dr. Gramelspacher said palliative medicine is intended to prevent and relieve suffering and to improve quality of life for people facing serious, complex illness. Palliative care is provided by a multidisciplinary team that includes doctors, nurses, social workers and chaplains. The team works in partnership with the patient’s primary doctor and other specialty physicians.
"Prior to starting our program, I witnessed too many patients die in pain, alone or forgotten. I learned that it doesn’t have to be that way, even for the dying poor. We can – we have – made it better. Our work is a labor of love," Dr. Gramelspacher added.
Established in 1999, the Wishard Palliative Care Program
assists poor and underserved patients who have been diagnosed with terminal illnesses and lack the resources to die with the dignity and compassion that all persons deserve. The specially trained staff at Wishard
helps coordinate complex medical care for patients as they face the physical and psychological challenges associated with their illness.
Dr. Greg's Ride to Remember 3 is supported by the Glasscock Family Foundation and SouthernCare, Inc. For more information or to donate to the ride, please call 317-630-6451 or visit www.ridetoremember.us.