ABILENE, Texas (KTAB/KRBC) — This holiday season we’ve been sharing the stories of those who have received care from Hendrick Hospice, all part of their Light Up A Life campaign, but now instead of the patients, we’re introducing the people behind the clipboard.

Whether they’re checking in on them or building relationships with them, for those behind the papers, Hospice holds a special place in these doctors’ hearts.

“At the end of the day, this job gives me more than I could ever give back to it,” said Medical Director at Hendrick Hospice, Lauren Templeton, DO.

Even though these are the halls Templeton walks now and has been for the past 7 years, hospice wasn’t her first career choice.

“I explored every opportunity first and then every path led me to hospice,” said Templeton. “Everyone has a different story to tell about life, I get to hear a million secrets to marriage, lots of laughter, lots of funny stories,” she says.

Standing beside her is Hospice Physician Tommie Farrell, MD, but for him, his connection to hospice goes beyond the stethoscope, having several family members go through hospice themselves.

“When you get to be on the other side, you get to have the worries and just know that there’s a team there for you, it brings peace,” said Farrell. “So to be the person who’s there for others, it feels good.”

“You’re present in the most intimate time. Dying is serious, but it’s also loving and about laughter, and spirituality, and faith, and so that bond, even in a short period of time, has so much more depth for me than I experienced in the hospital,” said Templeton.

“Hospice is not just something I get to do, it’s something that’s blessed my life,” said Farrell.