Phoenix Mercury Brighten Hospice Patient’s Day

By Lin Sue Cooney

At 95 years old, Ginny Millar is cute as a button. She looks like the quintessential grandmother, with soft white curls and eyes that twinkle with amusement. Nothing, not even her advanced cancer diagnosis, dampens her spirit.

“I’ve had a wonderful life with my family and friends and so much love.” she told me cheerfully. “Now I’ve reached the stop sign and I’m going to cross the street soon.”

Ginny’s optimism charmed our whole care team at Hospice of the Valley’s Dobson Home – including medical director Shelly Myer. During one of their chats, they discovered they had a mutual love for the game of basketball.

Dr. Shelly Myer, a season ticket holder and huge fan of the Phoenix Mercury, immediately contacted the team to share Ginny’s admiration for Diana Taurasi and her respect for the competitive spirit of women athletes.

The very next day, the Mercury sent Scorch to pay Ginny a visit at her bedside. The dancing mascot wore a white doctor’s coat and after a few fancy moves, presented an autographed basketball and several autographed team photos.

Ginny’s delight quickly turned to tears of happiness, as she exclaimed, “I can’t stop crying. I’m so overwhelmed.” Soon her family members, who were in on the surprise, were dabbing their eyes too.

“I was in shock when Dr. Myers pulled this off,” said Ginny’s daughter, Wendy Wesley. “It made Mom’s day and it made my day. It was truly phenomenal.”

But Scorch saved the best for last. He brought in a laptop and hit the play button. Up came a video that Diana Taurasi recorded just for Ginny, wishing her well and thanking her for being such a devoted fan.

It was a very special day for a very special lady.

“My plan for today was to put my lipstick on and fix my hair,” she says with a chuckle. “I never dreamed that I would have such a wonderful surprise.”

Thanks to the Phoenix Mercury, Ginny and her family have an amazing memory to cherish. And thanks to Ginny, we’re reminded how important it is to enjoy each day and make every moment matter.

Now that’s a game changer.