"Your child is terminally ill, we cannot do anything else!". This sentence makes families to come apart at the seams. Each year, more than 4,000 children in Germany get the diagnosis of an incurable disease. For the families, the life will never be the same again. The way from the diagnosis to death often takes months and sometimes years and parents, brothers and sisters push the envelope.
In order that families are not alone on their difficult way, the children's hospice Balthasar has been opened in September 1998 as the first institution in this form in Germany. Since then, hundreds of families with terminally ill children have been accompanied and the staff has tried to make to short life time of the children as positive as possible. Since 2009, there exists a youths hospital in Olpe as well.
This first hospice for youths and young adults in Germany has closed an important supply gap between children's and adult's hospices, as people from the age of 16 up to 27 have other needs and demands concerning room equipments, daily life, offers and psycho-social care. Like at the neighbouring children's hospice, the youths and young adults are accompanied from the diagnosis on.
Both institutions have to be sustained to 70 per cent by donations as the sponsors only fund a small part of the custodial care. Offers like a pain medical advise, musical therapy or clinic clowns are funded by donations, as well as the care for relatives and the further attendance afther the death of the child or the youth.