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Kathy Cuppy: Celebrating Life One Birthday at a Time with Compassus Hospice

Kathy Cuppy: Celebrating Life One Birthday at a Time with Compassus Hospice

Kathy hospice volunteer

In the heart of our Indianapolis program, Compassus hospice volunteer Kathy Cuppy brings joy and celebration to the lives of patients and their families. With a dedication that shines as brightly as the candles on the cakes she brings, Kathy embodies the Compassus philosophy of “Care for Who I Am,” ensuring every patient feels seen, heard, and valued—especially on their birthdays.

A Mission Born from Personal Triumph

Kathy’s journey to becoming a cherished member of the Compassus family began 35 years ago, spurred by a deeply personal milestone. After becoming a cancer survivor in 1989, Kathy felt a profound call to service. “I vowed I would stop putting off choosing a focus for service work,” she shares. Alongside her husband, she joined the training group for St. Vincent’s hospice in January of that year, marking the start of an enduring commitment to hospice volunteering.

Embracing the Hospice Philosophy

Initially uncertain about how she would react to the hospice environment, Kathy’s first experience with a patient and her husband dispelled any doubts. Through simple acts of kindness—preparing food, cleaning, and even playing euchre—she discovered that hospice care was less about death and dying and more about celebrating life. Her involvement in a television spot with Clyde Lee further reinforced her belief in the hospice mission, showcasing the positive impact of living fully at every moment.

A Volunteer Role Redefined

While Kathy’s husband may no longer join her in her hospice volunteer work, her passion has not waned. The recent pandemic necessitated a shift in how she could contribute, leading to the birth of her current role: the birthday coordinator. “In the past 6 months, I have redefined my role from direct patient interaction on a weekly basis to direct birthday interaction where appropriate, and I am loving it!” Kathy exclaims.

This new role allows Kathy to continue making meaningful one-on-one connections with patients, now through the celebration of their birthdays. She leaves no stone unturned, organizing decorations, party hats, and of course, a cake with candles, ensuring a memorable celebration for each patient and their family. Staff members are invited to join in, fostering a sense of community and shared joy.

A Recent Celebration

One of Kathy’s most recent celebrations was for Myrtle Treber, who turned 97 years young, and her daughter Carmen. These moments are not just about marking another year; they are about honoring the individual’s life journey, bringing light and happiness into their days.

Continuing the Journey

When asked about her motivation to continue volunteering, Kathy reflects on her life’s journey and the fulfillment she finds in service. Her dedication is a beacon of hope and joy, not only for the patients and families she serves but also for her Compassus family. Kathy Cuppy’s story is a testament to the power of compassion and the difference one person can make in the lives of many.

Kathy Cuppy’s unwavering commitment to celebrating each patient’s life, her journey from cancer survivor to a pillar of the hospice community, and her innovative approach to volunteer work exemplify the very best of what it means to serve others. Compassus is privileged to have Kathy as a volunteer and looks forward to many more birthdays celebrated with joy, laughter, and love.

To learn more about how to become a hospice volunteer click here.

To learn more about our Indianapolis program, click here.