soulfood.jpgAccording to the American Cancer Society, there are more than 13.7 million cancer survivors in the United States, and that number is expected to grow to nearly 18 million by 2022.

For Derotha Moore, who has successfully battled cancer not once, but three times– thyroid cancer in 1976, lung cancer in 2006, and breast cancer in 2009–living life to the fullest is all about expressing gratitude and celebrating the gift of life by helping others.

"As long as I am in good health, I'm going to continue to pay it forward by helping hospice," says the retired Clevelander, who was employed for many years as a social worker at Cuyahoga County Department of Children and Family Services. For the past 11 years, on or near her birthday, Derotha has hosted a soul food luncheon in the community featuring her own home cooking. Her dishes are prepared from scratch in her kitchen. She asks for $15 in donations per plate for adults and $10 for kids 15 and under. Proceeds benefit Hospice of the Western Reserve's pediatric palliative care patients.

Her yearly luncheon is held at Everlasting Missionary Baptist Church. The menu  includes baked or fried chicken and dressing with gravy, barbque pulled pork, gumbo with chicken, turkey sausage and shrimp, maccaroni and cheese, green beans, collard greens, corn bread, assorted desserts and more!

Derotha was trained as a nursing assistant prior to her career in social work. She developed an appreciation for hospice many years ago, when her father was a home care patient in rural Alabama.

"I come from a large family, so my siblings and I took turns caring for him," she says. "My father's home was out in the country, and not easily accessible from major highways. Hospice provided him with wonderful care. The nurse was always there for him, even if it meant navigating the back roads and arriving at his home at 4 a.m."

Hospice of the Western Reserve is one of very few hospice organizations in the country offering a pediatric palliative care program and is highly dependent on private donations.

Derotha is a true Hospice Hero. Her contributions and those of other grassroots supporters play a critical role in allowing us to provide the highest level of care to children and their families, regardless of their ability to pay.

To learn more on how you can plan and hold a community fundraiser, please contact bmurphy@hospicewr.org​ or call the Development Team at 855.475.0245.