May 9, 2019
Marie Todavich was an independent woman who lived 25 miles outside of Bemidji on the family homestead. She spent her days working outside, mowing the lawn and tending to her flowers. She also enjoyed hand embroidery and quilting. She loved to bake bread and cookies which were shared with those who visited.
Like so many of us, Marie wished to live her life fully, surrounded by family. Even in her final days of life, she achieved that goal with the help of Sanford Bemidji Home Care and Hospice.
Marie lived a healthy life, eating well and staying active, so when she was diagnosed with stage 4 cancer at 72, her family was shocked.
Marie was determined to fight her cancer and have as much time with her family as possible. She was able to meet five great-grandchildren and attend her grandchildren’s weddings, graduations and other meaningful events.
“Our mother was strong and up for the fight,” said Marie’s daughter, Dianne Dockendorf. “She kept a good attitude, the best that one can.”
Marie with her four children – Dianne, Tony, Greg and Mike – and their spouses.
Marie exhausted all her treatment options last fall and started care with Sanford Bemidji Home Care and Hospice shortly before Thanksgiving. She left her beloved farm knowing she needed the extra care offered by assisted living. Marie’s hospice caregivers worked with the facility and her family to take care of her medical needs and make sure she was as comfortable as possible.
“Hospice was wonderful,” Dianne said. “We did not know what to expect, and their prompt response whenever we had anything come up exceeded our expectations. It was a huge comfort to know they were on the other end of the phone. They truly cared for our mother.”
With expert hospice care available in Bemidji, the family was able to keep Marie close and spend every waking moment by her side. Dianne and her three brothers – Tony, Greg and Mike – along with their spouses, children and grandchildren celebrated their last holiday with Marie last Thanksgiving.
Marie lost her battle to cancer in early December after more than six years of fighting the disease. With the support of hospice, her family was prepared for what would happen and filled with a sense of peace, knowing they cared for Marie in the best way possible.
“We wish we had the names of each and every one of our hospice caregivers,” Dianne said. “They exceeded every expectation. We’d like to personally thank them all.”
Hospice helps bring dignity, comfort and compassion to so many in our community. Please consider supporting Sanford Bemidji Home Care and Hospice this Memorial Day.