Section: Barnabas Health Home Care and Hospice News

From a Mountaintop, a View of Peace

Zulma with her mother Zulma
Zulma (right) with her late mother, Zulma

A pre-Christmas weekend getaway, shared by Zulma Lisboa and her 26-year-old daughter, also named Zulma, was not an ordinary mother-daughter weekend. The 50-year-old Zulma, a hospice patient with Barnabas Health Hospice and Palliative Care Center, was in the final stage of metastatic breast cancer.

The special weekend, which took place at the Mohonk Mountain House in New York, materialized as a result of a conversation with Peter Arney, MSW. When the elder Zulma told him of her lifelong dream of seeing the Grand Canyon, Arney knew her medical condition made a trip of that magnitude impossible. Inspired to create a special experience for Zulma and her daughter, he reached out to One Gift (, a nonprofit organization that fulfills the special wishes of adults with cancer.

With help from One Gift, a three-day stay was arranged at Mohonk Mountain House, the renowned Victorian castle located in New York’s Hudson Valley. There, mother and daughter enjoyed the majestic beauty of the setting, were treated to fine cuisine and room service, and indulged in an array of relaxing spa treatments. Best of all, they were able to spend quiet time together. “The employees were all so kind,” said Ms. Lisboa, “and went out of their way to make us comfortable.” While at the mountaintop resort, Ms. Lisboa knew that help from hospice was only a phone call away, should her mother need it.

Although it was an emotional weekend for them both, tinged with sadness amid the beauty, they left feeling renewed. “This was an incredible gift,” said Ms. Lisboa, who transported her mother around the hotel and grounds in a wheelchair, assisted her during meals, and monitored her oxygen and medications. “It was peaceful and amazing,” she recalled, “a quiet place to just take a break, be catered to and enjoy the scenery. I will forever be grateful to Peter and to One Gift for making this all possible.”

“Seeing my mother gaze out the window at the beauty that surrounded us is a memory I’ll always cherish.”

Contact: Lisa Tortorello
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