The Founding of Hope
Marcus Hogge, the oldest of three children, had been a healthy little boy until the age of three when he was diagnosed with a rare and progressive neuromuscular disease, causing him to lose the ability to walk and talk. After balancing caring for his needs, plus raising his other two siblings, his parents – Joan and Allen Hogge – reached out to their church, Suffolk Presbyterian, in hopes of finding comfort and support. Reverend Edward Page of Suffolk Presbyterian was struck by the Hogges’ story and stepped in to help. He had also been diagnosed with cancer and understood the gravity of a terminal illness.
Edward rallied volunteers from the congregation to assist the Hogges during their time of need, some of whom were doctors and nurses. Through this journey, the congregation found ways to provide support services to Marcus and realized something vital: there were other children like Marcus. There were other families like the Hogges. Others within their community could benefit from pediatric care in the home, and this grassroots group of people found ways to provide this hope. Working initially out of the Hogges’ den and then out of a classroom at the church, the group saw their vision of serving children and their families begin to come into fruition.
Edward died shortly after start-up funding from the Presbyterian Women was granted to support the nonprofit. Later that year, Marcus died peacefully at home. When pondering the name for the new organization, the children of the church replied with the simplest of answers: it should be named after Edward and Marcus so they could be remembered. Officially established in 1978, Edmarc became the first pediatric hospice in the country, supporting children and their families, holistically and whole-heartedly, in the comfort of their own homes.
Joan and Allen Hogge are still active board members who have passed on the tradition of helping Edmarc to their children and grandchildren. Because of them and so many others within the community, Edmarc continues to serve children and families facing pediatric illness, loss, and bereavement all while providing…
…hope for the journey.
“Having a child with a life-threatening illness can be a lonely journey. Edmarc was formed so that no family would ever feel they were alone in their journey.”Joan Hogge