Natalie Gruzlewski shines light on end of life care
GOLD Coast-based Channel Nine TV personality Natalie Gruzlewski has accepted a role as ambassador to Tweed Palliative Support (TPS) out of gratitude for the care the group provided to her late mother.
Speaking publicly about her family tragedy for the first time this week, Ms Gruzlewski said her mum died peacefully at home in Tweed Heads in 2007 after receiving "exceptional" care from the not-for-profit end of life organisation.
"The challenges faced by children, adults and their families when someone they love is diagnosed with a life-limiting illness can be enormous," the host of reality program The Farmer Wants a Wife said.
"I know this first-hand when I was comforted by the exceptional home hospice services that Tweed Palliative Support provided my mother during her end- of-life care."
The group's volunteers relieve carers, transport patients, give hands-on care at home and loan equipment such as electric beds, for dignified end-of-life care.
Ms Gruzlewski's announcement as the service's first ambassador coincides with donations urgently being sought for the group's four-suite hospice in Dulguigan, which opened in February.
$540,000 annually is required for nursing wages alone, TPS's president Meredith Dennis said.
The organisation hopes to raise $750,000 through an art auction coinciding with Palliative Care Week, starting on May 23 and ending with a gala dinner on Saturday, May 30.
"The quality of the art works in this auction is fantastic and the generosity of artists has been sensational," Ms Gruzlewski said.
"The money raised goes directly to helping local children and adults with a life-limiting illness and their families get the support that they need," she said.
In the future Ms Gruzlewski plans to mentor teens losing their parents at the hospice.
"Many people think palliative care is for the elderly, but sadly too many young kids and teenagers are left without a mum or dad due to a life-limiting illness."