Hospice of the Western Reserve's 'Walk to Remember' draws more than 2,000 at Cleveland Zoo

(OHIO) WOIO - Thousands poured into the Cleveland Metroparks Zoo on Sunday for the Hospice of the Western Reserve's "Walk to Remember."

Over $250,000 was raised to help about 7,000 patients the organization serves every year.

"It helps us fund our pediatric program, expressive therapies, our grief program and all the things that we do to create a really special experience for our patients and families," said Bill Finn, President and CEO of the Hospice of the Western Reserve.

Among the hundreds of family members and friends attending the walk was the family of Rita Price of North Ridgeville.

Rita Price touched so many lives in her work as the Director of the North Ridgeville senior center and as a wife, a mother and a friend.

"She was very giving - just do anything for anybody. Everybody loved her," said Rita's Husband, Bill.

"I don't think I was ever sad when she was around, and even now I feel like her spirit lives within me because I am just so happy all the time," said Rita Price's son, William.

Rita was diagnosed with cervical cancer in the fall of last year. She passed away in April at the age of 56. Hospice of the Western Reserve was there for her and her family.

"Not only in the care that they gave to her, but to us as a family and friends - just with kind words - truly amazing people," added Bill Price.

Close to 40 of Rita Price's family and friends walked and raised over $3,000 in her memory.

Rita Price's story is one of hundreds you'll hear at the walk of love and loss, but the common thread is what the Hospice of the Western Reserve did for each patient.

Hospice workers wheeled Bernie Klein's bed outside so he could get a view of Lake Erie.

"I've been a hospice nurse for 28 years, and the opportunity to take care of my dad at the end of his life and give him everything that I've been able to give to so many other people was quite the experience," said Kim Klein, who is a hospice nurse for Hospice of the Western Reserve.

The walk is not only Hospice of the Western Reserve's biggest fundraiser of the year, but it is also an important part of the healing process for many families who now want to give back to an organization that gave them so much as they said goodbye to their loved one.

For more information, click here: www.hospicewr.org.

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