Giving and Receiving Hope

Chuck and Nancy Trudeau

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.

Chuck and Nancy made their first gift to City of Hope in 2006 because they believe that investing in City of Hope is the best way to help eradicate cancer. “Treatment has come a long way,” says Chuck, “but we’re not there yet. We must find a cure, and City of Hope is our best chance.”

The Trudeaus, both teachers, retired over 10 years ago and are preparing to celebrate their 45th wedding anniversary. They were looking for ways to make their lives simpler, including relinquishing their responsibilities as landlords after 40 years.

Coincidentally, a friend and fellow City of Hope supporter shared an article about gifting real estate to fund a charitable remainder trust. Intrigued, Chuck called their accountant and financial advisor. After researching the benefits, including lifetime income and significant tax benefits, their advisor agreed with the Trudeaus that a charitable trust could address their financial needs as well as their wish to support City of Hope.

They made a donation of appreciated real estate — a multifamily apartment building — to fund the charitable trust. With one gift, they invested in important research on pediatric cancer at City of Hope, gave themselves the ability to enjoy retirement without the burden of being landlords and established lifetime payments that replaced the rental income from their building. They also avoided the capital gains tax they would have owed on a sale and received a charitable income tax deduction. “The income we receive from the charitable trust is actually greater than the net rental income produced when we owned the properties,” notes Chuck.

Nancy shares, “We wanted to do some good in the future while receiving a steady cash flow for the rest of our lives. We looked at the numbers with our CPA and, with the income from the charitable trust and the tax benefits, we’re coming out ahead financially — and no more calls about a broken hot water heater in the middle of the night!”

The Trudeaus were so pleased with their gift that they donated a second property to their charitable trust. “When we retired, we bought a condominium in a lovely community,” explains Chuck. “Realizing that we wanted to stay in the area, we decided to buy a house. Even though we didn’t want to be landlords again, we found ourselves renting out the condo to other new community members.” Donating the condo was the perfect solution.

The Trudeaus initially supported City of Hope to help cure pediatric cancers. But their support became even more personal in early 2020, when Nancy was diagnosed with Stage 4 cancer.

Because they live several hours away from City of Hope’s Duarte campus, they were initially referred to a more local hospital, but instead decided to seek treatment for Nancy at City of Hope.

Chuck explains: “A patient relations director walked Nancy from appointment to appointment. There are volunteers everywhere waiting to help. Because of restrictions due to the COVID-19 pandemic, I wasn’t able to accompany Nancy to her appointments and treatments, but she had so many people assisting her. And we experienced warm concern from everyone we met, even a gardener who saw me waiting and drove me across the campus in his golf cart! I asked him if being so nice was part of the job requirement to work at City of Hope, and he said it was.”

Despite the many multi-hour drives to Duarte for Nancy’s treatment, Chuck says that each visit “felt like coming home. We met people from all over the world who were there for the same reason we were.”

With Nancy on the road to recovery after a year of treatment, the Trudeaus have been moved to make another gift by including City of Hope as a beneficiary of their living trust.

“We never anticipated needing City of Hope ourselves — as former educators, we were more concerned about children’s cancers. But, as it turned out, City of Hope came through for us. We decided to let City of Hope determine the best use for our gift. We already knew about the world-class research conducted at City of Hope, but now we have experienced the true personality of the organization, and it’s been a real game-changer. No matter how they use our gift, we know it will be the right decision.”

To join Chuck and Nancy Trudeau in making your own legacy of hope, please visit myplanwithcoh.org to learn more.