Long Beach Resident Named First Recipient of LB Memorial Newly Launched ‘The Bucket List Project’
2012-12-14 · By Editor
In an effort to aid adult patients battling terminal illnesses, Long Beach Memorial’s Palliative Care Program has started ‘The Bucket List Project.’ The program assists those who are too sick to fulfill their “final wish” experiences.
Long Beach resident Kenny Kozikowski, 48, who was diagnosed with metastatic (Stage 4) colorectal cancer in December 2011, will be the first recipient of this program and will get to experience a few items from his personal bucket list, including having professional portraits taken, a tour of the Warner Bros. Studio Lot, attending a taping of “The Ellen DeGeneres Show,” and helping ‘The Bucket List Project’ become a source of hope for adults with terminal illness.
Similar to the work of organizations such as the Make-A-Wish Foundation, organizers of ‘The Bucket List Project’ realized there are few opportunities available to create experiences for adults of limited means who are afflicted with terminal conditions. They were encouraged by the efforts of Kozikowski, who expressed a desire to help create a program for others in a similar medical state.
“I’ve always wondered why a program like this doesn’t exist for adults,” Kozikowski says. “There are many people like me who have lived productive lives and have always given themselves to help others. Then, when suddenly faced with this type of diagnosis, we are resigned to leave our dreams on the table. I want this project to have a positive impact on others.”
Kozikowski will tour the Warner Bros. Studio Lot and attend “The Ellen DeGeneres Show” taping on Tues., Dec. 18. A fan of Ellen DeGeneres since the 1990s, he previously tried to attend her show last year, but because of audience number limits, he had to watch from the overflow room. A second attempt to see the show was thwarted because he was admitted into Long Beach Memorial and not able to attend.
Kozikowski’s bucket list started the project, but one of his wishes is to create a lasting legacy and help all patients in the Palliative Care Program at Long Beach Memorial fulfill their bucket lists.
“Kenny’s desire to leave a positive lasting legacy inspired us to execute this program” says Nilesh Vora, MD, medical director, Palliative Care Program, Long Beach Memorial. “After Kenny created a bucket list, I realized that this program could apply to many other present and future patients. Our care team is diligently working to expand its reach to benefit others with similar life circumstances for years to come. Our goal is to bring joy by providing a memorable experience for these patients.”
Kozikowski’s activities will be made possible by Kristi Sutton Elias Photography, Tasha Le Mel —personal image consultant and stylist, Warner Bros. VIP Studio Tour and JM Limousine Services.
For more information on the Long Beach Memorial Palliative Care Program, visit: http://www.memorialcare.org/long_beach. Donations to the project can be made by calling 562-933-GIVE.