It has been almost two decades since Joan Byrne’s first experience with Samaritan. Between 2003 and 2005, Joan’s entrusted the care of her parents to Samaritan’s hospice team. Joan opened her home and her heart to Samaritan, and we were there to help Joan as a caregiver, and ensure her parents lived out their final months in comfort and with dignity.
Joan Byrne with Bill, her husband, and Therapy Dog Brooke.
Less than five years later, when Joan’s husband Ted became ill and needed hospice care, she called upon the organization she knew and trusted to care him – Samaritan. In 2010, Ted peacefully passed away, leaving behind a legacy of a love for cars.
Ted was an avid car enthusiast and a member of the British Motor Club of Southern New Jersey. Since Ted’s passing, the club has dedicated car shows to him and other members of the club who have benefited from Samaritan’s care. To date, the club has raised nearly $10,000, and is still committed to supporting Samaritan and its mission.
Because of Joan’s experience with Samaritan, she decided to become a pet therapy volunteer – first with her standard poodle named Trader and then with Trader’s daughter, Brooke. Both were certified by Bright & Beautiful Therapy Dogs, Inc. Bill Byrne, Joan’s current husband, is an equally loyal supporter of Samaritan. When Joan and Bill moved to Delaware a few years ago, Joan’s love for being a pet therapy volunteer carried over to her new home state where she volunteers for a local hospice.
Despite the miles between Joan and Samaritan, she remains devoted to supporting its mission, now as a donor. Recently, Joan determined that the tax benefits of making a qualified charitable distribution from her IRA created a win-win, reducing her taxable income, while providing a generous donation to Samaritan. Joan epitomizes the tapestry of life and the ongoing thread of connectedness that Samaritan creates with its patients and those who care about them.