Hospice Experiences: Danny’s Story

 Danny’s Story: The Story Of a Son

“There was never a doubt in their minds that they would put their own dreams on hold to care for a Dad and friend battling brain cancer,” by Gina Siez.

Danny's StoryEighteen years ago, John welcomed a beautiful baby boy into his world. John did not know then that Danny would be the source of true joy and love at the end of his life. They came from the small town of Hendersonville, Tennessee, home to many well-known musicians such as Johnny Cash and Miley Cyrus. John himself, is also one of these well-known musicians, writing music and lyrics and playing drums since he was 6 years old.

That is one of the other great loves of John’s life – music. His music career has spanned the decades, performing with many well-known musicians. He has shared his love of music with Danny, purchasing him his first set of drums when he was just 8 years old. Danny recalled fond memories of growing up around famous musicians, sitting on his Dad’s lap and playing the drums together. He shared that growing up in this environment inspired him to love music just as his Dad did. At the age of 15, Danny received another very special gift from his Dad, a one-of-a-kind “Tama” drums set, made in Italy, which he still plays and holds dear to his heart.

While visiting this family, we had the pleasure of watching both John and Danny play; something that does not come easy for John these days; but nevertheless, he still enjoys. Not only do this father and son share a love of music, they also share a love of the water. John served 15 years in the Marines Corp. in Search and Rescue. While growing up, both father and son spent a great deal of time in the water and both still enjoy swimming and being in the water today.

Danny graduated from High School this year and won the state championships for the 50 freestyle and 100-yard breaststroke, making his father proud. John also shared how his son played baseball, basketball and football as well, sharing photos of these many events.

Following graduation, Danny had big dreams of moving to California to pursue college and a career as a disc jockey. He, along with his best friend Evan, who wished to pursue his dream of a modeling career, left their homes back east in pursuit of those dreams. It was at about that same time that Danny learned of his father’s battle with brain cancer. With that in mind, Danny shared that there was never a doubt in his mind to put his personal dreams aside and come out to California to take care of his father.

Danny’s Story Continues Through Arbor Hospice

Arbor Hospice is currently providing service to this family and Hemet Hospice Volunteers and Community Hospice Services is providing for the special needs of this patient and family. We are so honored to help this family and give support and help to these two 18-year-old boys who put their own lives on hold to commit to caring for John.

Our Patient Special Needs Program is about that – providing for the needs of patients. We are providing for a professional caregiver in this home so that Danny and his friend Evan, can have daily breaks from the care of John, to get out and live a little. The boys are now able to start their mornings by going to the gym for exercise and in the afternoons or doing a little hiking and rock climbing. With the assistance of a professional caregiver, Danny and Evan can spend quality time with John, reminiscing about their past and sharing fond memories of Danny’s childhood and John’s joy of being a father. The caregiver is able to cook homemade meals, bathe John, and bring a sense of hope into the home, all of which was difficult when these two boys were trying to do everything for John themselves.

John also has a daughter, Alicia, and a granddaughter, Jennifer, whom he is very proud of. His face lit up as he spoke of Jennifer and shared photos of her. John has many friends from the City of Murrieta, where he worked for several years as a Supervising Inspector for Public Works. He remains comfortable in his home, surrounded by those who love and care for him. On John’s hospice care team is Mari; Chaplain, Pam; hospice nurse, and Jeff; Social Worker, who will remain and accompany him on this journey.

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