TREENA MIELKE/Rimbey Review
A Rimbey family physician agreed to go under the razor himself recently after several thousand dollars was raised locally to support palliative care in Serbia.
Dr. Kim Adzich agreed to shave his beard if $5,000 was raised for BELhospice, a charity in Belgrade, Serbia caring for cancer patients.
The goal of $5,000 was not only reached, but surpassed with $8,000 raised for the worthy cause.
Adzich is thrilled with the donations, noting there was enough money raised to hire a nurse at BELhospice for almost 11 months.”
“Almost all of the money was raised within Rimbey with hundreds of people contributing to the cause. And my friends at BELhospice are overwhelmed that people in a land so far away care so much and are willing to support their work. They were speechless when they received this beautiful gift from Rimbey. To quote one of their emails, ‘all this really gives us wings.’”
He said the charitable organization cares for more than 200 cancer patients a year, using a team of a nurse and doctor to visit patients in their homes as they enter the final weeks or months of life.
They not only provide support to the patients and their families without charge, but are very active in palliative care education for frontline nurses and doctors in Belgrade and rural Serbia.
The organization strives to improve availability of much-needed medications, set national standards and raise awareness of palliative care in their country on a national level.
In September of last year, Adzich and his wife, Margaret, travelled to Belgrade, Serbia to see first-hand the work being done by a small team of dedicated professionals as they provided holistic palliative care to those dying of cancer.
Adzich found the trip to be educational and provide him with a greater understanding of the palliative care system in that country.
He noted that in Serbia palliative care receives no financial backing from their government.
“They have to rely totally on donations,” he said. “I know that every dollar (raised here) will go towards patient care and that it will make a huge difference in their quality of life.”
Adzich was more than happy to have his beard shaved as promised, but found the experience of being clean shaven a bit unsettling.
“I look in the mirror and wonder who that guy staring back at me is. He looks strangely familiar but ….odd. And I can reach up and touch the skin on my jaw for the time in over 33 years.”