Emily’s House opened its doors in July 2013. It began as a vision birthed out of a community based hospice organization called Philip Aziz Centre which had its start in the 1980’s when the HIV AIDS pandemic was at its peak in Toronto. Philip Aziz Centre is the charitable organization that trains and equips hundreds of volunteers who comfort and support persons living with life limiting illness and their families in their own homes. It also serves as the fund-raising entity for both organizations as a whole. Over the years of working in the community, it became increasingly clear that families and children had diverse and complicated needs that required more than the volunteer support we offered. . This was how the concept of a child-centric palliative and respite care facility was birthed. Rauni Salminen, founder of Emily’s House Centre, believed passionately that “whether a life was measured in days, weeks, months or even years, children living with a life-limiting diagnosis deserved the opportunity to learn, play, develop and grow….to just be kids.” A place like Emily’s House now offers kids with complex conditions this opportunity and parents a rest from care giving.
Emily’s House is named in honor of one of one of our young clients who we have supported through our community hospice programs for the past 6 years. She is battling a rare terminal neuro-degenerative disease. Her courage, faith, compassion, gentleness and laughter are the qualities we want reflected at Emily’s House. Emily and her family represent hundreds of others who face the daily challenges of living with life limiting illnesses and who will now have access to increased care and support.
“When there is no cure, there is support, compassion and care… there is Emily’s House.” – Rauni Salminen, Founding Member and C.E.O.