A My Heart's Desire Story - Exceeding Expectations


By Whitney Prather

When our volunteer coordinator, Margaret Mullen, reached out to The University of Akron to inquire about ticket prices and wheelchair accessibility for an upcoming Akron Zips Football game for one of our patients – she had no idea the amount of generosity that would greet her on the other side.

Russell Jones, patient with Absolute Hospice, has always been a fan of the Akron Zips and attended many games regularly in the past. When Mullen learned of his My Heart's Desire request to attend a game, she began planning.

"Today has been the best day of my life!" - Russell Jones

“I emailed, asking for guidance about which section might work best for a patient in a wheelchair and accessible parking. Later that same day, I received a phone call from Kathy Rex, senior administrative assistant for the director of athletics, saying she wanted to arrange a donation of the suite for the patient and his family,” said Mullen.

Stunned at this gracious outpour of kindness, Mullen went along with it.

Upon arriving at InfoCision Stadium-Summa Field, Jones with wife, Carol, their neighbor friends, and two hospice aides were warmly greeted by Rex, University President, Athletic Directors, cheerleaders, the team mascot, and the band who led them in the fight-song!

What a welcome, and if that wasn’t enough – the luxury suite they would spend the next few hours in, was beautifully adorned with balloons, swag bags featuring a signed hat from the coach, and an impressive spread that included, hamburgers, potato salad, fresh fruit with fondue, and more!

“Today has been the best day of my life,” said Jones. That day, the Akron Zips reigned supreme over the Ball State Cardinals, 31-3 - and with each score, Jones would cheer them on!

“We had everything we could ever need and want!” said Kendra Bennett, hospice aide. “They made Russ, his wife, friends, and our team feel so amazing. This has been the best My Heart’s Desire!”

To the University of Akron Athletics Department: 
We cannot thank you enough for embracing our cause the way you have. Your generosity has made us all feel deeply. Not only have you acknowledged the request of our staff members to make a patient’s day brighter, you’ve acknowledged a patient’s final wish – wow! Thank you for going above and beyond and exceeding our expectations!

About My Heart's Desire:

My Heart’s Desire, a final-wish program of Absolute Hospice and The Absolute Hospice Foundation, focuses on creating special moments for hospice patients. We give our patients the freedom to ask themselves what their heart’s desires are. Learn more here

Whitney PratherComment