​Several years ago, Jim and Suzanne Plescia took the vacation of a lifetime. The couple traveled to Italy and visited Godrano, a small Sicilian village, where Jim’s father had been born. They met several of Jim’s Italian relatives for the first time and were touched to be warmly welcomed into the family fold!

When Jim developed a serious illness, he was no longer able to travel. However, Hospice of the Western Reserve was still able to arrange a "return trip" to the village of Godrano through Flight to Remember and the magic of drone technology.

Offered in conjunction with the Flight to Remember Foundation, the program allows hospice patients to virtually visit a place meaningful to them. The foundation works with an international network to engage a local drone pilot and coordinate all the logistics.  The HWR volunteer team produces a DVD and customizes it with special music selected by the hospice patient. Viewing the DVD allows patients to escape from the realities of their medical condition by "visiting" a place that holds special meaning and joy for them.

“Hospice of the Western Reserve goes above and beyond what you would expect a hospice organization to do,” said Suzanne. “When Jim said he would really like to return to Sicily one more time and visit the village where his father was born, they made it happen!  Through their relationship with the Flight to Remember Foundation, they arranged for the drone to fly over the streets of the village. We provided the addresses of Jim’s father and relatives. He flew the drone right over their homes! It was incredible. Just incredible!”

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Flight to Remember is just one element of HWR’s comprehensive Moments to Remember program, which focuses on helping hospice patients achieve their dreams. Each year, hundreds of Moments to Remember are created to fulfill the special wishes of our hospice patients. The experiences are as unique as each person, ranging from cooking lessons with a chef to one more visit with a horse for a former thoroughbred trainer.

We are grateful for the generosity of our friends in the community for making Moments to Remember possible. You are part of our 40-year story. We’re appreciative of all you do to support the extra programs and services we offer that are not reimbursed by insurance. Thank you for allowing us to “dream big” and enhance the lives of those we serve in special ways. We couldn’t do it with you!