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Remodeled Children's Hospice Center Offers Comfort To Families In Difficult Times

BROOKLYN CENTER, Minn. (WCCO) -- Minnesota children who are nearing the end of their life will soon have a comfortable and caring place to spend those precious days.

A dedication ceremony was held today for Crescent Cove in Brooklyn Center. It will be a hospice and respite center specifically for children.

The building is being remodeled after originally being a hospice facility for adults owned by North Memorial Hospital. It will be only the third children's hospice and respite center in the country.

Finding peace during life's most difficult moments can be tough, unless of course that place is Crescent Cove.

"If I could have picked it, I would have picked this setting," said Jill Wall, a registered nurse who has assisted families going through hospice.

The scenery nearby is serene thanks to a lake, but it's what will soon be inside the building that has people like Wall and her daughter Tana eager for it to open.

"There is 900 children that die each year in Minnesota that have no other place to go. Either it's going to be the hospital, or their home, or an adult hospice and that's not equipped for children," said Wall. Her daughter Tana was born will medical complications that have left her wheelchair bound and unable to speak except through sign language.

Crescent Cove
(credit: CBS)

"We know what life can be like. We've faced serious illness that became critical illnesses," said Wall. She said they often sought respite during those times and feel they can do the same at Crescent Cove.

"It's something that in all honesty I hope most people never have to encounter or work with, but for those that it does become an important issue, it's necessary to have it here and to be in place," said Scott Schwantes, a pediatrician who is also on the board of directors for the facility.

After previously operating as an adult hospice center, the rooms will be remodeled to be more kid friendly.

There's a play room, music therapy room, as well as quiet corners for those tender moments that Wall and her daughter understand.

"They're going to provide compassionate excellent care so that during those difficult days you have people that can support you," she said. "You can make it a beautiful experience at end of life."

Even though many of the families using the facility will be experiencing end of life, Schwantes feels people shouldn't focus on the negative.

"This is a place for vibrancy and life. This is a place where families can be families together," he said.

Crescent Cove was originally working to raise $10 million to buy land to build a brand new facility and cover the first two years of operating costs, however it now only needs to raise $5 million to cover buying the current building, renovation, and first year operating costs according to Jim Rice, Crescent Cove board chair.

It's tentatively expected to open in October 2017. For more information on how to make a donation or volunteer, click here.

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