"Your child isn't going to get better, there is nothing more we can do." These words have a devastating effect on the whole family. In Germany, more than 4,000 children are diagnosed with an incurable disease every year.
The journey from diagnosis to death can be long and distressing and it places extreme demands on the parents and siblings of terminally ill children. Germany's first children's hospice, the Balthasar hospice, was opened in September 1998 to support families during this difficult time.
"We can't add days to life, but we can add life to days" (Cicely Saunders)
Life and laughter take centre stage at the Balthasar Children's Hospice.
We see it as our task to make sure the short time these children have left to live is as fulfilled and as positive as possible. Reading out loud, snuggling together and simply having time for the children are just as important a part of what we offer as Snoezelen, music therapy, hospital clowns and therapy dogs.
Death and grief also have their place at the Balthasar Children's Hospice. The staff give families the care and support they require with due consideration of their needs and world view.
Parents can stay with their children as and when they like during the final stages of their lives. A dignified, pain-free journey towards death is possible here and the wishes and needs of the child and their relatives are taken into consideration. Our staff are specially trained to support families during the difficult grieving period.
After a child's death, the family members are given the opportunity to say their farewells in peace. The farewell area can be personalized to suit individual tastes and can be made available to the family right up until the funeral if required.
Even families whose children died elsewhere, can use our facilities.
In order to provide the best possible support to the Balthasar Children's and Young People's Hospice and its guests of all ages, we are in desperate need of your help. We have to rely on private financing because children's and young people's hospices are not provided for in public funding models. Only a small proportion of our costs, about 30%, are met by public and health insurance. Every Euro helps put our work on a secure basis so we can continue to be a place for life and laughter, a place for death and grief.
We would like to present the range of different ways in which you can help the Balthasar Children's and Young People's Hospice.
KoCoS has been supporting the valuable work of the Balthasar children's and youth hospice in Olpe for several decades now. Product Manager Christian Studen attended the Open Day, on 7 December 2019, and handed over this year's donation cheque to Rüdiger Barth, Director of the facility.
This year alpacas and llamas visited the hospice and were greeted with great enthusiasm by young and old alike. These gentle, cuddly animals encourage patience and empathy and also reduce stress. Furthermore, a new raised garden bed was inaugurated, it will be used to grow herbs for cooking. This increases independence, confidence and self-efficacy by enabling the children to participate in day-to-day activities.
Like many other companies, celebrities and individuals, KoCoS Messtechnik AG regularly reponds to the appeal for donations made by the Balthasar children's hospice.
When children and young people suffer from a serious illness which will drastically shorten their life, it is not only the young people themselves but also their families who have to learn to come to terms with the situation. Being diagnosed with a life-limiting condition spells the end of life as they knew it as well as of many friendships and social relationships.
The Balthasar Children's and Young People's Hospice makes sure that that families do not have to walk this difficult path alone by providing support which starts when a child or young person is diagnosed with a life-limiting condition and continues on after their death.
As in previous years, KoCoS continues to support the excellent work done by the hospice to help these families enjoy happy times despite all the limitations imposed by the illness.
Children with a life-shortening disease, their parents and siblings are supported by the Balthasar Children's and Young People's Hospice. Here they can rely on skilled staff to help them deal with illness, dying, death and grief.
Relatives have the opportunity to meet other people in similar circumstances, exchange experiences, support one another and socialise or even develop friendships which last beyond their time in the hospice.
By making a donation to the hospice, KoCoS would like to help give families a break and an opportunity to regain strength for their everyday life at home.
"Children with a serious illness do not need substantially more but more substance", so says Rüdiger Barth, the Director of the Children's and Young People's Hospice Balthasar. The Children's Hospice in Olpe tries to fulfil this aim and hence functions as a support system for families of children with life shortening illnesses.
The staff enable families to make the most of the limited time they have together, by providing various services like hospital clowns, music therapy, creative work and excursions, making this time as special and as pleasant as possible.
Working together for hope - KoCoS Messtechnik AG shares this aim and is therefore continuing its support for the Children's and Young People's Hospice Balthasar by making a financial donation.
Give life a meaning. Offer comfort in times of grief. For the family, the world seems to come apart at the seams, nothing is as it was. Caring for the child and looking after the child's needs become the focus of attention while everything else automatically fades into the background.
By making a donation to the Balthasar children's hospice once again this year, KoCoS supports the valuable work that is done there with such dedication, ensuring that it can continue to provide the best possible support to its guests of all ages.
In order to support the beneficial work of the Balthasar Children's and Young People's Hospice in the long run, the Children's and Young People's Hospice foundation was set up.
The Children's and Young People's Hospice foundation was established to last forever. The interest earnings of the assets of the foundation are used to support the Children's and Young People's Hospice. The assets are invested securely and are completely conserved over generations. This means that as long as there are families with terminally ill children and young people, who need assistance, there will be the Children's and Young People's Hospice – this is ensured by the foundation statutes.
The donation will be used to build up the assets of the foundation.
On the annual open day on the 4th December 2010 Gerrit Jacobs, head of administration, and Felix Volke from the Sales department presented the donation, which was collected when the new subsidiary in Weimar, KoCoS Automation GmbH, was opened.
The donation supports the work of the children's hospice, ensuring that it can continue to be a place where the families of terminally ill children can find the help, care and assistance they so urgently need.
The Balthasar children's hospice in Olpe held its annual open day on 8th December 2007. Thomas Becker, the C.E.O of KoCoS Messtechnik AG, and Martin Kraemer, head of the Sales & Applications department, took this opportunity to present the hospice with a donation.
One of the major goals of the children's hospice is to enable children who have been diagnosed with a life-limiting illness to visit Olpe a few times a year along, with their parents, brothers and sisters, with the aim of giving them a break and helping them recharge their batteries. Professional bereavement support is also provided by the hospice.