A Valentine for Cody—With Love from Regional Hospice

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Cody’s mom, Gloria Maldonado and Cody

Cody’s mom, Gloria Maldonado and Cody

You are 21 years-old, and Marc Anthony, your music idol, is performing on February 14th barely 30 miles from home. If distance were the only issue – your life would be pretty terrific right now.

What better Valentine could Cody Maldonado’s clinical team at Regional Hospice and Home Care come up with than to make his dream come true?

They couldn’t think of anything short of a cure that would mean more to them for their young patient who has been struggling with Ewing’s Sarcoma for the past four years. They shared their quest for Cody’s dream with colleagues at Regional Hospice. Within days and six degrees of separation from the generosity of Sony Music Corp. and Marc Anthony’s own venture, Magnus Media, Cody’s dream began to materialize – one caring person at a time. First there was the verbal guarantee of three tickets; Webster Bank Arena came onboard with VIP arrangements for his ease upon arrival and departure from the event in a chauffeured limousine.

At 6:00 pm on Valentine’s Day, Cody, his mom, Gloria and his sister, Vanessa, stepped into the limo and the excitement and anticipation of the past several days became reality. They were escorted to their seats— fifth row center, barely twenty feet from his idol! Cody and his family laughed until their stomachs hurt when opening act comedian, Joey Vega performed, joking about Donald Trump and Latinos. “We laughed so hard the whole time he was on stage, and it felt so good!” said Cody’s mom, Gloria. Vega met with the family and took pictures with Cody and Vanessa. Then Marc Anthony hit the stage to thunderous cheers and applause—it was sheer happiness for them— even Cody couldn’t stay seated. The hour and a half performance flew by as Anthony performed one hit after another to a packed house of 10,000 – all reveling in the joy of Anthony’s music, dance moves and Latino pride that captured hearts and pumped up joyful adrenaline that powered Cody through the evening of a lifetime.

As she talked about Cody having the energy to enjoy every moment of his dream come true –from the anticipation of the planning to the memories they now savor, Gloria was filled with emotion, “Cody was so happy; we were all so happy; I didn’t think we could be that happy anymore, and I am so appreciative for this special gift for Cody. We will never forget this night together!”

UPDATE: We are sad to report that Cody lost his courageous battle with cancer on March 31st, just shy of his 22nd birthday. Our condolences go out to his family and friends.

Regional Hospice and Home Care’s team of experienced clinicians have been providing physical, emotional, spiritual and bereavement support to children, adults and their families through our palliative and hospice care program for the past 30 years. Regional Hospice and Home Care is a nonprofit, state-licensed and Medicare-certified home health care and hospice agency. Now, with the opening of our new private-room, specialty hospital for palliative and end-of-life care — the Center for Comfort Care & Healing — Regional Hospice and Home Care can bring that same hope and compassionate care close to home and under one roof.

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