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The Best Game of His Lifetime

posted on Monday, July 13, 2015

This story was first shared in May 2014:

The message on Tim Lundahl’s voicemail said, “Hi, this is Tim. I’m probably watching the Cubs.” Though he views them on TV, for one weekend in May 2014, he was sitting in the stands at Chicago’s Wrigley Field thanks to special arrangements made by his caregivers at HCI Hospice Care Services.Tim in front of Wrigley Field

Seated in their favorite spot under the announcer’s box behind home plate, possibly for the last time, 62-year-old Tim and his son, Josh, were cherishing an annual tradition that began when Josh was five. They had tickets for a July game this year, but Perry team social worker Lauren DeVan was concerned that Tim’s health might keep him from attending later this summer. She worked with HCI Foundation and the Cubs to arrange for Tim and Josh to travel to the May 3, 2014 game, a 3–0 victory over the St. Louis Cardinals.

Lauren set up visits with Cubs ambassadors and for the two to take photos on the field after the game. Cubs representatives provided Tim with memorabilia, including a replica of the clock in center field and an employee-only silver lapel pin of the stadium’s marquee that marks this year’s 100th anniversary of Wrigley Field.

Father and son had a victory dinner after the game, and Tim remained so excited about the day that he couldn’t sleep. “I’d do anything for hospice,” Tim says. He has already requested that his memorials be directed to the HCI Foundation in lieu of flowers.

“I’ve got an All-Star team,” Tim says of the HCI Hospice Care Services caregivers who serve him at his Jefferson home. “It’s not just about the effort to get the tickets, but the care that comes from everyone. It’s from the heart and soul, and they’re all simply wonderful. When you live by yourself it can be hard to keep your spirits up. But they come here and listen to me jibber-jabber every couple days and we have fun.”

Josh agrees that the Chicago trip created a great memory, and that the whole experience with HCI Care Services has been transformational for his father. “This sounds strange, but there’s so much life in him right now. He never had a lot of people around him and liked things done his way, so I was a little worried about bringing in hospice. But it’s been the best thing that’s ever happened to him. He’s so happy and has had so many positive experiences. Every interaction comes with dignity and respect. He’s totally jumped all in because each person has made him feel so special.”

Watch the story on WHO-TV 13

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