Couple United in Work, in Play and in Giving


Debbra and Dave Jacobs-Robinson seem to have perfected the art of sharing. Married for more than 30 years, the couple met while working at the same federal agency. Their introduction wasn’t necessarily auspicious. “Dave got the promotion I deserved,” laughs Debbra. “I was one of only a handful of women in the field and I just couldn’t get past the glass ceiling.”

Over the years, they recall hearing and reading about City of Hope. “One of our clients had an employee who was very, very ill,” recalls Debbra. “Our client was able to arrange for the employee to be treated at City of Hope. That touched both of us quite a bit.” Dave adds, “We also read stories about City of Hope that confirmed our belief that it was a very good organization.”

Debbra’s parents both died of cancer and her aunt received care at City of Hope in the early days, when tuberculosis was the hospital’s focus — but their support goes deeper than these connections. We’ve been so lucky in our lives,” explains Dave. “We are thankful for our health and understand the sometimes terrible ramifications of diseases like diabetes and cancer.”

The Jacobs-Robinsons, both avid runners, started giving to City of Hope in 2006, after Debbra completed her goal of running a marathon in every state and the District of Columbia. To celebrate, she asked friends to donate to a special fund at City of Hope in her mother’s memory. She and Dave matched their contributions. “City of Hope was the only place we thought of when we decided to set up the fund,” recalls Debbra. The Jacobs-Robinsons have also donated platelets to a friend being treated at City of Hope.

Their generosity to City of Hope doesn’t stop there. “As we thought about the legacy we want to leave, we started looking for a group that will use our money wisely,” says Debbra. “We couldn’t find a better mission than disease research and helping people who are ill.” The two decided to create a charitable gift annuity to benefit City of Hope.

“We get a benefit from an income stream,” explains Dave, “and, ultimately, City of Hope and the patients they treat and the general population will benefit, too.” His advice to others? “It’s easy to put off helping, but sometimes we wait too long and miss our opportunity.”

“Our society has needs now and in the future,” adds Debbra. “The future is a wonderful place, but the time to act is today. If you can do it now, why wait?”