Haliburtonians joined people across the country to raise funds for palliative care at the annual Hike for Hospice May 5. 

 Dozens of participants hiked through Head Lake Park for the event, one of many happening throughout the country.

The funds raised stay within their communities, with Haliburton’s hike raising money for the Haliburton Highlands Health Services (HHHS) hospice and palliative programs.

The services offer patient and family support during serious and life-limiting illnesses.  

Beth Archibald is a patient navigator with the palliative care community team. She said she participated in the event for the first time to honour her father, who passed away 11 years ago after a fight with cancer.  

“This is a meaningful day for me,” she said. “I work with courageous individuals and their families every day and so I want to honour their journey. I’m just really honoured to be able to do this.” 

 HHHS president and CAO Carolyn Plummer said the community support for the event is strong.  

“It’s great to see how many people have joined us and how many people are hiking with us today. It’s a real sign of how much importance the community places on hospice, palliative and health services,” Plummer said. 

Brian Daoust has participated in every Hike for Hospice in Haliburton. He said the event also acts as an important way to raise awareness for the services.  

“We have high school kids talking about hospice whereas five to six years ago, that never happened. The awareness is as important as the money raised,” Daoust said. “It’s really important to have it public.”  

This is the second year of the reborn hike in Haliburton, which went into a hiatus for three years after a decade running.

Plummer said the hike being tied to a national event will help it continue into the future.  

“It gives us a lot of support we wouldn’t otherwise have. Given the turnout and given the commitment that people show to this event and to our services, I think we have a chance to keep this going for the long haul,” she said.

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