Lumina Life Review

314.872.5050 or 877.227.8718

Lumina offers patients, both adults and pediatric, the opportunity to preserve the stories, values, ideals and experiences that define their lives. In telling their stories, many patients feel a sense of completion and realization of what they have accomplished and how they have mattered, perhaps for the first time. The program is offered free of charge through BJC Hospice and the Wings program to patients and their families.

Lumina volunteers are extensively trained and are devoted to the thoughtful work of asking, listening and crafting the patients’ stories.

Getting started

Referrals can come directly from the patient, the family or bereaved loved ones eager to capture stories that may be lost, and staff or volunteers who are caring for the BJC Hospice patient.

Even if you are not sure you want to participate in the program, please give us the opportunity to come out and visit with you. Sometimes visiting with the Lumina volunteer can help you and your family reflect, remember and create something that will be cherished by loved ones and generations to come.

Alphabet blocks made for a young son of a hospice patient with words and pictures to remind him of his mother

Memory bears and pillows made from hospice patient’s clothing. The BJC Hospice music therapist recorded a patient’s heart beat that was then placed inside one of the bears for his daughter.

Lumina can provide:

  • Letters to love ones
  • Memory books and journals
  • Scrapbooks
  • Memory videos and audio recordings
  • Ethical wills (detailing values and beliefs)
  • Genograms (family trees)
  • Lifelines (detailing important memories and events)
  • Memory pillows, bears and quilts made from the patient’s clothing
  • Memory boxes
  • Treasure chests, with memory books and meaningful trinkets for dementia patients

Lumina is offered at no cost to BJC Hospice and Wings patients and their families thanks to the Elaine Seldin Kornblum Hospice Fund, The Harvey Kornblum Foundation, the Pi Beta Phi Alumnae Club of St. Louis/Sign of the Arrow and the Friends of Wings, as well as the generosity of individual donations.

Words About Lumina

“Lumina is a gift to the storyteller who may be approaching the end of life, to the listener invited for a time to enter that life, and to family and friends in whose hearts the words and experiences resonate.”
– Suzanne Doyle, Lumina program founder

“If anyone had told me before I began volunteering what a difference Lumina would make in my own life, I wouldn't have believed them. Lumina drives home the oneness of us all, our shared needs for laughter and introspection, our connectedness even in the midst of our differences. I never expected that sharing some memories, time and attention would be such a gift.”
– Linda, Lumina volunteer

“It’s not just the idea of writing down stories from someone’s life. What made the difference is doing it together and talking about your past life and loving memories while you’re still around to do so. I would not have done that myself and would have missed a wonderful opportunity to share with my husband. The Lumina program made this happen, and I thank everyone for having it available through BJC Hospice.”
– Carol, wife of a hospice patient

Everyone has a story to tell that should be honored, remembered and carried on.

Bereavement Specialist Eileen Spinner talks about Lumina, a program that captures each person's unique story and the benefits that brings.

Patient Martin Schweig talks about how the Lumina Life Review Program gave him the chance to create a book capturing his life as a professional photographer.

This let him revive his own memories and give his children and grandchildren a better understanding of his life.

Ruth Castellano, vice president of BJC Home Care Services and BJC Hospice patient, shares how Lumina is preserving her story for her daughters.

Jorie Rogers is 32 years old. She suffers from a rare form of cancer, paraganglioma. Hundreds of tumors have formed throughout her body.

With the help of BJC Hospice's Lumina program, she is working to preserve memories for her one-year-old son, Tristan.