Lightways’ Pediatric Program Triples in Size
Little Lights Fund Established to Support Sick Children

The Little Lights Fund was established in August, 2022 to support the newly-expanded pediatric program at Lightways Hospice and Serious Illness Care. Funds donated to this restricted account will be used to cover non-reimbursed expenses associated with our pediatric program.

The Little Lights are, of course, the sick and dying children in our care. We need to make these Little Lights of ours shine. We will do that with outstanding care on all levels—physical, emotional and spiritual.

But we cannot do it without your support.

Recently, Addus Heath Care, a Texas-based for-profit hospice organization, acquired JourneyCare, a hospice and palliative care provider in the northern Illinois suburbs.

Upon takeover, Addus made the decision to disband JourneyCare’s pediatric program and asked Lightways to take on their patients.

For Lightways Board of Directors and senior leadership, there was only one option:  say yes.  In early June, we agreed to hire their staff and transfer their patients into our care.  In a matter of weeks, our pediatric census tripled.

Why is there such a need?

Pediatric programs at most hospices operate at a deficit—or at best at a break-even point.  We anticipate that we will be working at a loss for the balance of 2022 and the first half of 2023.

Here are some of the factors that contribute to the financial picture:

  • Insurance coverage for pediatric hospice and palliative care patients is either lacking or not available at all.
  • Pediatric palliative care (which is 60% of our patients) is not covered by Medicaid.
  • Much of best-practice pediatric care is non-reimbursable.
  • Long lengths of stay.
  • The cost of pediatric durable medical equipment is higher than with adults.
  • Pharmacy costs are higher.


How you can help:


Please consider a gift to the Little Lights Fund. Your gift is needed to support the children and their families in our care.

Ways to Give

  • Please click here to access our online donation platform. This will give you the option to make a one-time gift or a reoccurring gift using a credit card, debit card or bank withdrawal.
  • If you prefer to send a check, please complete this form and mail your donation to Little Lights Fund, Lightways Hospice and Serious Illness Care, 250 Water Stone, Joliet, IL 60431
  • For gifts of stock, please contact Eileen Gutierrez, Sr. Director of Development and Marketing at 815-531-3553, extension 335 or [email protected].
  • Help us spread the word! Please share this webpage widely with others who may support the Little Lights Fund..
  • If you know of a foundation, club or other organization who would be interested in supporting the Little Lights Fund, please contact Eileen Gutierrez, Sr. Director of Development and Marketing at 815-531-3553, extension 335 or [email protected]

How Much to Give

Our need is great.  Gifts big and small will make a significant difference to the care we provide.  Whether you choose to contribute in a single payment or spread your giving over time*, please consider:

  • $5,000 covers the cost to provide hospice care for one child for one month.
  • $2,000 provides nourishment and feeding supplies for a hospice patient for one month.
  • $500 covers a month of the supplies for our Child Life Specialists.
  • $350 provides a month’s worth of pain and symptom management medications.
  • $100 supports a visit from a massage or music therapist.
  • $50 covers supplies for a family to create a legacy remembrance.

*Reoccurring gifts are automatically withdrawn from your bank account or charged to your credit or debit card monthly.