Diana Spoelstra is a caretaker at heart – you can tell immediately by the 140 succulents she keeps on her back porch, all thriving and growing beautifully. Loving well through both good and hard times is a hallmark of her life.
Born into a family of entrepreneurs in Lemoore in Kings County, Diana grew up in a hard-working family: her mother worked outside the home, her father was a land surveyor and her stepfather owned Driskell’s Appliance for many years.
She fell in love and married her sweetheart at 16. She and her husband had grown up together, and they knew they could build a life together. They welcomed two children and life was busy, but blissful.
Then, Diana’s husband was diagnosed with melanoma at 27. She vividly remembers the agonizing pain he suffered and the deep loss she felt when he passed shortly thereafter.
A few years later, Diana happily found love again with her late husband’s brother, George. He had three children of his own, so they combined families and built a life together. George and Diana started a business testing butterfat from dairies and were able to buy a home and raise their children. Diana oversaw the business with care, teaching herself accounting and business operations.
The couple were married for almost 30 years when the family suffered yet another heartbreak: George developed terminal lung cancer.
Recalling her first husband’s traumatic experience battling cancer, Diana wanted George to have a different, peaceful experience, one full of the compassionate care that was so important to her.
She found that with Adventist Health Hospice and Home Care.
“We were able to secure two hospital beds for our home,” Diana shares. George slept in one, and the other was placed in the living room, “Where he could sit and look outside while watching his walnut trees bloom, something he absolutely loved.”
Hospice team members played a vital role in supporting their children in coming to terms with the situation, she says. “The hospice team didn’t just care for him. They cared for each one of us.”
Diana supports Adventist Health Hospice every year in George’s honor. “I’ve had a few other experiences with Adventist Health when I’ve needed emergency care, and I’ve always felt very confident in their expertise and talent for compassionate care.”
To learn more about Adventist Health Hospice in the Central Valley, visit our website.
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