The Hospice of Windsor and Essex County has announced three new initiatives, including an updated children’s playhouse/garden area, the launch of Layla’s Flutter Packs, and a new Butterfly Life Cycle Wellness Program, all made possible with the support of Layla’s Grace Foundation.

In 2019 Dawn and Joe Marchand first stepped through the doors of Hospice, when their daughter Layla, at just 12 years old, was admitted with terminal cancer. After Layla passed, Joe and Dawn created Layla’s Grace Foundation in her memory. Since the Fall of 2022, Layla’s Grace Foundation has been working with The Hospice to support meaningful and impactful initiatives in memory of Layla.

The first initiative, Layla’s “Flutter Packs,” was officially launched in December of 2022. These “packs” are gift bags offered to children who are visiting loved ones at the Hospice Residences in Windsor and Leamington. Each is packed full of age-specific, fun activities, games, and puzzles. “Each child has a different capacity to understand what’s happening to their family, but they all have a need for some distraction, some sense of ‘normalcy’ in their lives, and that includes play-time,” said Dawn Marchand, Layla’s Mom.

This past weekend, the second initiative, Layla’s Butterfly Garden, was officially opened at The Hospice, Windsor Campus. The Garden is centred around a children’s playhouse, for children to use while visiting loved ones at Hospice, and includes Adirondack chairs for kids, butterfly-friendly plants, and child-friendly garden décor.

As the third new initiative, Layla’s mom, Dawn, will be working with members of the Hospice team to offer a “Butterfly Life Cycle” Wellness Program. This program will occur throughout the summer and consist of educational seminars and interactive activities with regards to the monarch butterfly life cycle. Participants can be any patient, family member, or bereaved individual involved in Hospice services.

“These initiatives are all inspired by Layla, and we are thrilled to both honour her, and support Hospice patients and families through the work of Layla’s Grace Foundation,” said Dawn Marchand.

“Our Hospice offers care to all – including adults and children – regardless of personal situations. Initiatives like this help us support patients and families in unique, creative, and impactful ways,” said Nancy Brockenshire, Hospice Executive Director. “We are so appreciative of the support from Layla’s Grace Foundation, and these beautiful tributes to Layla’s memory.”