Shortly before Aaron Homsher became sick with a terminal illness, he started a new business, real estate photography using a drone. He enjoyed his new venture, but unfortunately, it wouldn’t last very long. “When I got sick, I had to shut everything down,” says Aaron, who is now receiving hospice services with VNA. As part of his hospice care, a VNA volunteer, Richard, was ‘assigned’ to him. The two men began meeting weekly at Aaron’s home and hit it off, forming a genuine friendship. “He’s really a good guy, we’ve really bonded. We have a lot to talk about,” says Richard.
This includes drones, which Richard was also interested in; while Aaron no longer had the strength to run a business, he could still handle flying his drone near his home when Richard would visit. During one of these get-togethers, Aaron mentioned in passing that he would love to fly his drone at the beach and dine at one of his favorite restaurants in Vero, First Watch, but didn’t think it would be possible given his health situation. Little did he know that Richard passed along this information to Sara Bumgarner, Director of Volunteer Services at VNA. Upon hearing Aaron’s wishes, Sara enlisted her team to make them come true, an outing that would be paid for through Project Wish, a VNA & Hospice Foundation program that grants end-of-life wishes to hospice patients.
The special day began on a Wednesday in August at 9:30 a.m. when a Stellar van picked up Aaron and his wife, Eugenie, and brought them to Jaycee Park in Vero. There, they met Sara and a few other members of the ‘Wish Team.’ Richard was also there for the big day, a day that did not disappoint. Under a clear blue sky and a bright sun, Aaron happily flew his drone over the wide beach and Atlantic Ocean throughout the morning. “Everything went well. It was very nice,” says Aaron.
His wife concurs. “It was a wonderful, beautiful day. He enjoyed it and we appreciate what you are doing for us,” she says.
When Aaron finished flying his drone, Sara drove him and Eugenie to First Watch restaurant where Richard met them. “We enjoyed a nice breakfast. It was very good,” says a smiling Aaron.
In the past several months, VNA & Hospice Foundation has sponsored many end-of-life wishes, some of them simple and some of them a little more involved. In addition to Aaron’s wish, others have included a birthday party with cake, balloons and flowers; landscaping an overgrown yard and assistance with AC repairs; a one-time house cleaning after a husband’s wife died, and a trip to Animal Kingdom. And the trips were all beautifully orchestrated by Sara’s dedicated team, something that patients like Aaron appreciate. “I was just very grateful and very thankful about the whole day,” he says.