Few hospice services for dying children in mid-Michigan

Capital News Service
LANSING — When her son Charlie was diagnosed with a terminal brain cancer at 2, Abigail Waller didn’t find any pediatric hospice in her community of East Lansing, or elsewhere in mid-Michigan. Charlie now is 4, and Waller said although he is doing well with medication, it doesn’t change the prognosis that there is no cure. Thanks to Charlie’s case, however, Sparrow Hospital is piloting a collaborative program for its pediatrics department to address the need of hospice care only for children, said Michelle Wiseman, director of Sparrow Hospice and Palliative Care Services. “Big metropolitan cities like Grand Rapids, Ann Arbor and Detroit have pediatric hospice, but here in Lansing the problem is we don’t have enough children,” she said. Wiseman said Sparrow takes pediatric hospice case by case, and Charlie is its first patient.