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Montrealers mourn the loss of Teresa Dellar, palliative care pioneer

Click to play video: 'Montrealers mourn the loss of Teresa Dellar, palliative care pioneer' Montrealers mourn the loss of Teresa Dellar, palliative care pioneer
WATCH: Montreal community members mourn the loss of Teresa Dellar, end-of-life care pioneer – Sep 4, 2019

Large crowds gathered at St. Patrick’s Basilica on Tuesday afternoon for Teresa Dellar’s funeral service.

Dellar, who was the the executive director and co-founder of the West Island Palliative Care Residence, passed away at 58 on Monday Aug. 19 after a long battle with cancer.

“She had a mission. She had a vision of providing palliative care to every Canadian,” said Allen Vanderwee, president of the operations board of the residence.

READ MORE: Teresa Dellar, founder of West Island Palliative Care Residence, dead at 58

Vanderwee told Global News on Tuesday that Dellar educated everyone, from the general public to politicians, on the issue of end-of-life care. He said the residence will continue on with her vision at its core.

The West Island Palliative Care Residence has been praised by many as exemplary when it comes to providing care to terminally ill patients. It has helped more than 4,400 people end their lives in comfort.

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“She taught everyone new forms of dignity, new ways of caring,” said Francis Scarpaleggia, Liberal MP for the Lac-Saint-Louis riding.

Dellar was at the forefront of end-of-life care in the city and helped found the Kirkland-based residence in 1998. As a pioneer in the field, she was known for helping individuals and families during some of the most difficult moments of their lives.

READ MORE: New West Island-based initiative to improve palliative care across Canada launched

Former Quebec provincial politician Yolande James said that many people speak about wanting to create change, but Dellar actually did so.

“Her impact is immeasurable,” she said.

James said Dellar was all about living life with purpose and helping others.

“She cared so deeply about people, genuinely right until the end,” said Global News Montreal senior anchor Jamie Orchard, noting she took care care of everyone around her.

Dellar is survived by her two sons, Nicholas and Jonathan, and her husband Gavin.

–With files from Global News’ Kalina Laframboise

WATCH MORE: Remembering palliative care pioneer Teresa Dellar

Click to play video: 'Remembering palliative care pioneer Teresa Dellar' Remembering palliative care pioneer Teresa Dellar
Remembering palliative care pioneer Teresa Dellar – Aug 20, 2019

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