Cabela’s in Avon grants hospice patient’s wish
Albert Janosik, an 89-year-old hospice patient, had his wish granted when he was able to shop at his favorite store, Cabela’s.
The event, called “Gift of a Day,” was put on by Crossroads Hospice and Cabela’s in Avon.
“We were both shocked and honored that Albert decided to choose our store for his day,” said Gary Gerrone, the retail marketing manager at the Avon store. “It was truly a groundbreaking experience for us... we normally do not put on events like this.”
The event started with Janosik being presented with a Cabela’s gift card, a Cabela’s shirt and being named the manager on duty. The event continued with Janosik going throughout the store.
“Repairing and restoring fishing reels is his favorite hobby,” said Karole Polk, the nurse case manager for Janosik at Crossroads Hospice. “He is usually quiet and keeps to himself… it has been really great to see him smile and enjoy the day.”
All patients are given a “Gift of a Day” event, according to Polk.
“Crossroads Hospice seeks to help the patient maintain a certain quality of life for the time they have left,” she said. “We do this by going to where the patient needs us and by putting on events like this one.”
The “Gift of a Day” event can range from the something that is simple to one that is awesome, according to Polk.
“We knew of his hobby and that he had been a lifelong customer at Cabela’s... which made it a good fit for the event,” she said. “This has been his first chance to go out since entering hospice two months ago so he’s excited.”
After the initial pictures and presentation, Janosik dictated the remainder of the afternoon.
“We basically asked Albert where he wanted to go and he led the way,” Gerrone said. “The day was really up to him and we wanted him to go around the store as he saw fit.”
The event had many media outlets in attendance and this was an initial fear for the success of the event, according to Gerrone.
“We weren’t sure how Albert would respond to the media coverage and all the attention the event was going to draw,” he said. “There were cameras and people all around Albert and there was no way of knowing how he was going to react.”
Fortunately, the media played an important role at the event, Gerrone added.
“I think the media presence only enhanced the experience for Albert,” he said. “Having the outlets here made Albert feel special and made the moment memorable for him.”
The event was not discussed with Janosik beforehand so he was surprised by the turnout, according to Gerrone.
“I’m not sure that I deserve all this attention, but I am really thankful for all of this,” he said.