August 14, 2012 — Cleveland, Ohio — Once in a while, a special person comes along who leaves an indelible imprint. Someone whose impact is so great that her legacy lives on long after death. Such is the case with Katie Dolesh, a former executive director of the Make-A-Wish Foundation of Northeast Ohio. She kept a magic wand on her desk. She used it when the kids she cared for needed special encouragement. During her six years at Make-A-Wish, Dolesh granted the wishes of 392 seriously ill children before dying of complications from an inoperable brain tumor in 1995 at age 37. Despite the tragic loss to her family and to all the people whose lives she touched, her name lives on in her family’s gift: a free community lecture offered each year by Hospice of the Western Reserve. Dolesh was cared for by the non-profit hospice agency in the final stage of her life.
This year’s Katie Dolesh Lecture, “Gifts of the Imagination: The Healing Power of Guided Imagery,” presented by psychotherapist Belleruth Naparstek will take place Thursday, Sept. 13 at Executive Caterers at Landerhaven, 6111 Landerhaven Drive, Mayfield Heights. The free lecture begins at 6 p.m. (doors open at 5 p.m.) Appetizers, a cash bar, a raffle and book signings are included in the event. The general public is welcome. One need not have a family member in hospice care to attend. To register for the free event (required), click here.
Sunny Masters, Chief Development Officer of Hospice of the Western Reserve, said the lecture series is a natural fit because there are many parallels between Katie’s philosophy and those of hospice. “Some people have the misperception that hospice is for people who have given up hope. In fact, the exact opposite is true,” Masters said. “Hospice is all about helping patients and their families live as fully as possible until the end. It’s about living well and dying well. Katie and her family understood this, and wanted to find a way to educate the community about its benefits. Like Katie, we also work hard to help fulfill our patients’ wishes through our life enrichment program.”
More About Belleruth Naparstek and Guided Imagery
Naparstek is a pioneer in the use of guided imagery, a technique that harnesses the creative power of visualization and music to relieve stress and promote a feeling of greater well-being. Used extensively in music therapy, counseling, hospice care, wellness clinics and other healthcare applications, it also has many benefits for the public at large, including stress reduction, combating sleeplessness and relieving pain.
A native Clevelander, Naparstek is also the author and creator of a guided imagery audio-series, and will be available to sign books following the lecture. Also signing books will be board-certified music therapist Dr. Susan E. Mandel, a consultant to Lake Health, and Dr. Suzanne B. Hanser, founding chair of the Music Therapy Department at Berklee College of Music. The two women are co-authors of “Manage Your Stress and Pain Through Music.”
Hospice of the Western Reserve is a community-based, non-profit agency providing comfort and emotional support to patients and their families in Northeastern Ohio. The agency cares for people in a variety of settings, including the home, hospital, long-term care facility, at David Simpson Hospice House overlooking Lake Erie and at the new Ames Family Hospice House in Westlake. For more information, visit hospicewr.org or call 800.707.8922.
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