The Legacy of Hope Society recognizes special friends, like the individuals profiled here, who have joined their legacy with City of Hope’s by leaving a gift for City of Hope in their will or have established a life income gift. The Legacy of Hope Society is a way for us to recognize this profound contribution to City of Hope’s future.
If you have left a gift for City of Hope, we hope you will let us know. Notifying us is the best way to ensure we receive the gift you intend for us and that your wishes for the use of your gift are honored at the time your gift is received. We would also like to welcome you into our Legacy of Hope Society and, with your permission, provide appropriate recognition for your generosity.
Leslie Bernstein, Ph.D., never imagined that she would have a distinguished career as a cancer prevention researcher. Upon graduation from high school at age 16, she was offered the opportunity to study biostatistics and prepare for a Ph.D. program then being launched at UCLA. Her career trajectory was delayed when, at age 18, she married her husband, Saul, and moved with him to San Francisco, where he began medical school at the University of California and she gave up her career to become a mother.
“I can’t think of a better way to push toward a cure than by investing in the future of City of Hope,” shares Lynda Colucci, National Insurance Industry Council supporter and Industry Challenge leader.
Bob Enk credits his father for giving him his start in business products and it is in his father’s memory that Bob has stepped forward to lead the City of Hope Industry Challenge on behalf of the National Business Products Industry.
“I know how hard it is to get funding,” Carlotta Glackin, Ph.D., says. “I have spent most of my career in the lab at City of Hope working with superb graduate students. Having been a patient, too, I want to focus on the next generation and ensure that City of Hope continues to be a research and treatment leader. My gift through my estate to fund scholarships for graduate students will help ensure what I’ve achieved will live on.”
“When I married Don, I knew I was not only marrying into his family, I was also marrying into City of Hope as the family charity,” laughs Lois Hoffman. “Of course, it was easy for me to adopt City of Hope because I believed in it, too.”
“National Professional Salon Industry support of City of Hope is a 30-year tradition. I’m proud to be part of an industry that has given so much to so many,” says Harlan Kirschner, explaining why he participates in the Industry Challenge to benefit City of Hope.
Bruce Merino is a native Californian, but for many years he was bicoastal, commuting between his home on the West Coast and his job as an executive with The Home Depot in Atlanta. His career in the hardware industry started after college, working for Handyman of California. Bruce joined The Home Depot in 1984, when the company had only 16 stores nationwide. By the time he retired in 2009 as president of the Western Division, he was leading 440 stores and 70,000 associates across nine states.
To feel “glad of our shadow,” of what we’ve accomplished in this world, is the guiding principle of Rosalinda O’Neill’s life. Caring for others, giving and being of service without seeking recognition are life lessons she learned from her grandmother, mother and teachers. It’s probably not surprising, then, that four of the five children in her family went into caring professions like Rosalinda, a licensed psychotherapist and successful life building consultant.
“We were taught that you give what you can and we want to send that same message to our children,” shares Sam Richardson, National Business Products Industry supporter and Industry Challenge leader. “That’s why we’ve left a gift of life insurance to City of Hope. It’s an easy way to provide for our daughters and leave a legacy of hope that will help future families.”
Dick Spezzano and his wife, Carole, consider themselves doubly lucky. They have not been personally touched by cancer and they have had the good fortune to be touched deeply by their involvement with City of Hope. “It’s easy to appreciate what City of Hope does,” says Dick. “You see the results in lives saved.”
Ron Wardwell’s commitment to City of Hope builds on an established family history of service. Ron, his father and his brother all served their country in the military — his father in World War II and the brothers during the Vietnam era.
Marcia and Jim Brammer are active members of the City of Hope Board of Governors, a group of volunteers who raise funds for research at City of Hope to fight life-threatening diseases. But their relationship with City of Hope began when their son Brian Lambert was treated at City of Hope for acute myeloid leukemia, ultimately receiving two bone marrow transplants.
In 2000, Roy Hartwick and Duane Dickeson found themselves at the same neighborhood social event. They had each just recently moved to California — and the two have been together, in sickness and in health, ever since.
A lifetime friendship is always something special, but the friendship between Bob Elsner, John Koehler and John’s wife, K.C. is particularly remarkable. More than friends, they are family. So, when John got sick, Bob and K.C. supported him together.
Diagnosed with acute lymphoblastic leukemia in October 2013, Manuel Espinosa was admitted to City of Hope. Under the treatment of Margaret O’Donnell, M.D., he received chemotherapy, and was cancer-free within a month of being admitted. Manuel shares, “City of Hope gave me my life back. With young children, I am taking advantage of this blessing I was given. I’m not just living, I’m thriving.”
Supporting City of Hope for 50 Years – and Beyond
After 50 years of support, Mort Falk is still proud of his involvement with City of Hope.
Now that they are retired, Roberta (“Birdie”) and Bob Feldman are looking for ways to simplify their life and spend more time on the water. They decided to demonstrate their support for the lifesaving research and care City of Hope provides by making a gift of real estate: an apartment building they bought as an investment years ago.
Giving has been a part of Nancy Jo Flint’s life since she was a teenager. Instead of throwing Nancy Jo a 12th birthday party, her mother took her to California Hospital in Los Angeles, launching six years of Saturdays as a “candy striper” during which Nancy Jo donated her time and compassion to people in need.
Sisters Marilyn Wallace and Sami Freedman moved to Los Angeles in 1966. Their personal connections with City of Hope and their interest in supporting innovative research have placed City of Hope at the forefront of their many philanthropic interests. “Their work reaches beyond California – it will help people all over the world,” says Marilyn.
Helga and Jurgen Hahneiser retired after 40 years of owning a successful restaurant. As time went on, they began to revisit their financial goals. Because of their personal experience with cancer, Helga and Jurgen wanted to give back to a cause that was meaningful to them. “We trust City of Hope to use our gift for the purpose it’s given,” shares Helga. “If you are thinking of how you can make a difference, supporting City of Hope is truly worthwhile.”
“Hope was our favorite word even before I was told I had cancer,” shares Stephen Hasper, who received a diagnosis of multiple myeloma in March, 2014. In the months ahead, he and his wife, Joyce, would discover that their favorite word was more important to their lives than ever as they learned about City of Hope and soon became a patient family.
Marc Jacoby first encountered City of Hope in 1973 when he was diagnosed with a testicular tumor. At 25 years old, with a 6-month-old baby, he was given only a 1% chance of survival. But his City of Hope surgeon encouraged him: “I really believe you will make it. . . " That was more than 45 years ago!
As a volunteer, Judy already gives so much to City of Hope, yet she decided that she still wanted to do more. "I got to the point where I needed to take my required minimum distribution from my IRA. I found out that I could donate my distribution directly to City of Hope and they would receive the entire amount because I wouldn’t pay taxes on it. My gifts support the pediatric program, of course" says Judy. "City of Hope and the pediatric program are so near and dear to my heart!"
Donna McNutt was 54 years old when she was diagnosed with Stage 4 multiple myeloma, a rare blood cancer that forms in plasma cells of the immune system. “We are so fortunate to have a leading cancer center nearby. Anyone who knows me understands what City of Hope means to me and my journey,” Donna shares.
“City of Hope is a place that saves lives,” says Chuck O’Shea. “I know, because I’m one of the people whose life they’ve saved.” Chuck’s diagnosis of Non-Hodgkin lymphoma was a crushing blow to him and his wife, Eileen. Early doctor visits left them with doubts about Chuck’s medical team; then a friend, who was also a nurse at City of Hope, introduced them to Auayporn Nademanee, M.D.
"Judy and I know we could never repay the City of Hope staff for saving our lives on two separate occasions each, but we have decided to revise our living trust so that some of our resources will be used by City of Hope to treat others who are facing catastrophic disease." shares Duane Preimsberger. "That’s a legacy we believe is well worth leaving and we are delighted to do that as a token for the faith, hope and love we have for this truly remarkable place!"
“As we thought about the legacy we want to leave, we started looking for a group that will use our money wisely,” says Debbra Jacobs-Robinson. “We couldn’t find a better mission than disease research and helping people who are ill.” Debbra and her husband Dave decided to create a charitable gift annuity to benefit City of Hope.
Christine Rotgers doesn’t consider herself a trailblazer. But she is. Her mother was a homemaker and her father a sawyer whose education peaked before high school. And three of her grandparents were illiterate. Christine, however, attended college and earned a bachelor’s degree in bacteriology. After college, she followed one of her colleagues to the Los Angeles area.
Sylvia Silverberg is a role model for how to stay vital as you age. At age 83, she regularly presents humor programs for clubs near her home in Florida. She also plays the leading role in making decisions about her finances.
Judy Sonney’s support for City of Hope became even more personal when her neighbor became ill. “The work they do with research and the clinical trials with many types of cancer and other illnesses give so many patients hope and longer lives," Judy shares. "I think that is very, very important. My hope is that those clinical trials will become routine treatments and that patients all over the world will benefit.”
Like so many others, Nancy and Chuck Trudeau have felt the impact of cancer. Nancy’s parents and grandparents each developed cancer at an early age, and Chuck’s father and three grandparents passed away from cancer. “Back then, you couldn’t even say the word cancer — we called it The Big C,” shares Nancy.
Barry Tyson gives to City of Hope in memory of his first wife, Maureen, who died of breast cancer in 1993. She was not treated at City of Hope. In fact, Tyson wonders whether things would have been different if she had been.
"What makes City of Hope so special to me is how patients are treated. At City of Hope, healing is a journey you take together," shares Lisa Vargas. "When you walk in, you feel like you’re being given a big hug and the assurance that they are there for you. This is why I decided to extend my current support to the future."