GRAND RAPIDS, Mich., (Aug. 11, 2017) – The Hospice of Michigan Foundation has welcomed Michael TerHorst as the newest board member.
TerHorst and his wife, Liz, were introduced to hospice and palliative care shortly after their newborn daughter Sophie was diagnosed with Spinal Muscular Atrophy (SMA), a fatal disease that affects motor neurons in the spinal cord. Living in Chicago at the time, the TerHorsts made the decision to enter Sophie into palliative care.
On her 9-month birthday, Sophie passed away peacefully in her mother’s arms at home.
Moving back to their roots in West Michigan, the TerHorsts dedicated themselves to using their experience to aid other patients and families going through end-of-life care, leading Michael TerHorst to Hospice of Michigan as a board member.
“Sophie’s quality of life was the most important thing to Liz and me. Our hospice experience gives us an appreciation for the remarkable work Hospice of Michigan does in this community,” TerHorst said. “The journey through end-of-life care is difficult for all who are involved. But receiving assistance from a hospice organization like HOM that is not only knowledgeable, but compassionate, makes all the difference in the world.”
Liz TerHorst joins her husband in honoring Sophie’s memory by volunteering with HOM’s pediatric service, providing a listening ear and guidance to families who are navigating the same difficult circumstances. She is also working with research teams at C.S. Mott Children’s Hospital (Ann Arbor) and Lurie Children’s Hospital (Chicago) to improve physician/patient/ family communication.
Michael TerHorst is vice president, Antares Capital, and Liz TerHorst (DPT, OCS) is a physical therapist at Mary Free Bed Rehabilitation Hospital. They reside with Sophie’s three younger siblings in East Grand Rapids.
About Hospice of Michigan
A nationally recognized leader in end-of-life care, Hospice of Michigan is the original – and largest – hospice in the state. The nonprofit cares for nearly 1,800 patients each day, raising more than $5 million each year to cover the cost of care for the uninsured and underinsured. HOM offers a broad range of services to enhance the quality of life at the end of life, including community-based palliative care and pediatric care programs. HOM provides grief support and counseling, caregiver education and support, and education programs for physicians and health care professionals through its research, training and education arm, the Hospice of Michigan Institute. In January 2016, HOM joined forces with Arbor Hospice and Palliative Care, strengthening the mission of nonprofit hospice in Michigan to ensure patients and their caregivers receive the highest quality of care. For more information, call 888.247.5701 or visit www.hom.org.