Twelve Wonderful Days with Hospice of the Piedmont

Working alongside her husband Wade at their Chrysler auto dealership in Culpeper, Laura Schick was known to be candid and hardworking. When she was diagnosed with pancreatic cancer a few days after their wedding anniversary, there was no doubt that they would fight the disease together.

Wade and Laura attacked the cancer with tenacity and began treatment, pursuing chemotherapy and radiation, and even a clinical trial in the hopes of beating her cancer. After a family Thanksgiving dinner at their home, Laura was admitted to the hospital. Doctors found that the tumor had spread again. The Schicks decided to pursue comfort care, forgoing further curative treatment, to give Laura the best quality of life possible for the remainder of her life. They made the decision to call Hospice of the Piedmont and ask for an admissions nurse to come and see them. The nurse was waiting for the Schicks when they arrived home from the hospital that evening.

When Laura chose to go under the care of Hospice of the Piedmont, she wasn’t giving up — she was simply choosing quality over quantity. She made the choice to take control over her final journey on this earth and to spend that time in her home, surrounded by those she loved. After beginning her care with Hospice of the Piedmont, the Schicks opened their doors to more than 100 friends, loved ones, and community members who came to celebrate Laura’s life. Their home was filled with people, laughing and sharing stories with and about Laura. Through it all, Wade said, hospice was there, too. “For those twelve wonderful days, every morning, first thing, they were there,” he said about his Hospice of the Piedmont care team. “Every time we needed something, they were there. They made sure she was comfortable and answered our questions.” 

For many people, losing a spouse may be the first time they’ve had to walk the end-of-life journey. For the staff of Hospice of the Piedmont, sharing the journey is our specialty. Our staff has walked this road with families many, many times and are there to help families understand what to expect, to provide information, and to ease the burden of this sacred and singular life experience. “It was so nice to have that level of expertise,” Wade said of the final days at home with his wife. “They were there to help me every step of the way. They made it so peaceful, so comforting.” On December 12, 2016, Laura surrendered to her battle with cancer, at home, surrounded by loved ones. Just as she wished.

Each fall, Wade Schick hosts a fundraising car show event at the family auto dealership. In October, the Rappahannock Region MOPAR Club held the 10th annual All Make Car, Truck, and Bike Show in Culpeper. The event has raised almost $10,000 for Hospice of the Piedmont in the last three years. Since the Schicks had built their lives around the auto industry, giving back in this way is unique and personal to their family.

We’re so grateful to family members like Wade, and all of our donors, who generously give back to Hospice of the Piedmont so that we’re able to help neighbors like Laura live their final chapter peacefully in their homes, surrounded by those who matter most to them.