A Special UK Wildcat Surprises Young Patient

Our stories about meaningful experiences are written as they unfold. Therefore, most stories are in the present tense. Some of the patients in these stories are no longer with us. They, and their families, gave us permission to share their experience with you. For those who have since passed, we share these in their memories with deep appreciation for what they have taught us about life and living.

We have the honor of caring for Hunter. He’s 19, lives in Madison County, and has spent most of his life loving UK Men’s Basketball.

K Fund gift basket

When we learned what a Wildcat fan he is, we wanted to do something special for him. A staff member reached out to The K Fund, the fundraising arm of UK Athletics, to ask about donating UK memorabilia. Another staff member found her way to Richmond’s own Wildcat, Dominique Hawkins, to ask if he might be willing to help us stage a surprise for Hunter.

Thankfully, both the K Fund and Dominique were ready to help.

Dominique with staff members Sarah Rollins and Nicki Stewart, who helped plan Hunter’s surprise.

Although we provide care for Hunter at his home, we worked with his family to tell Hunter we wanted to meet him at our Compassionate Care Center for a surprise.

When the family arrived, we took them into the large family room. Waiting for them was the gift basket donated by the K Fund. It included a piece of the last championship floor, signed by Coach Calipari.

Hunter was shy, but you could tell how pleased he was.

Then, we brought Dominique into the room. His mega-watt smile and genuine kindness lit up the entire facility. A very surprised Hunter was still a little shy, but clearly in awe.

Dominique spent time next to Hunter as the family talked with him about UK and basketball. Later, Dominique even spent time visiting with the staff working at the Compassionate Care Center.

Thank you to Dominique and to the K Fund for making Hunter’s day.

How can you honor life during National Hospice & Palliative Care Month? Visit the #WeHonorLife campaign page to learn about all the ways you can help, from volunteering and shopping to helping us increase access to specialized care for the seriously ill and their families. Questions? Contact us at hospice@hospicecp.org or 859-986-1500 or visit our website.

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