I became involved with City of Hope after my wife died of metastatic breast cancer in 2015. It set forth my journey to find a research facility to which I could make a donation in her honor. I made a pretty thorough study: Who is good? Who is using their charitable dollars most effectively? I reached out to City of Hope and they invited me to visit.
What struck me about City of Hope was their response when I reached out. I made a number of inquiries and called a number of places and of all the organizations that I spoke to, City of Hope was the one that said, “Yes, we’re really interested in you and want to tell you about our work. Why don’t you come visit?”
I met several research professors and I became very much impressed with the fact that City of Hope was doing something more than the standard research and development activities. They were engaging the whole patient. And there was just something special about that. During my visit, I never felt pressured by them to be a donor or be a supporter. At City of Hope, it’s very obvious that their commitment is to finding treatments and caring for patients, and everything else, including fundraising, is secondary to the primary goal.
The Duarte campus is impressive. It doesn’t feel like a medical facility with all of the forbidding aspects that often go with medical facilities. It has a very different atmosphere. And the fact that they have onsite housing and so on for patients and their families and other resources to accommodate them is something I really appreciate. And of course, the medical care is outstanding.
They have since gone out of their way to invite me to events which were educational and spoke to my areas of interest. When City of Hope says they treat the whole person, they really mean it. City of Hope has built it into the culture of the institution, which is a difficult task and they’ve done a remarkable job. So that’s a big reason that I’m very comfortable in supporting City of Hope. I’ve made additional gifts and have included City of Hope in my estate plans through my living trust.
I also appreciate other opportunities available for supporting City of Hope in the long term – in particular, through their charitable gift annuity program. I would recommend this type of gift to any supporter who might be interested in making a significant gift to City of Hope and still receive income from those assets, as well as very good tax benefits. It’s reassuring to have lifetime payments while knowing that City of Hope will end up with a significant gift. The gift planning team at City of Hope has been very helpful in answering my questions about this and other giving opportunities and making sure I have the right information in order to make my giving decisions. I appreciate that.
To my fellow City of Hope supporters, I would like to say that if you have an interest in supporting leading-edge cancer research and treatments, if you had family members or others who’ve suffered from cancer, diabetes or other serious illnesses, there is no better place in the country to put your dollars.
You’re not just supporting a narrow piece of technical research — you’re supporting an ecosystem that is designed to treat people who have what could otherwise be an incurable disease. Your contributions will be used to support research that will benefit many others. There’s a ripple effect.
I often work with at-risk young people, supporting them in imagining their future, making choices and fulfilling their dreams. I can’t reach every young person, but if I can toss a pebble in a pond and the ripples will go out, then I might reach way more than I’ll ever know about. And I feel the same way about City of Hope. I choose not to designate my donations for a specific research project/area, but I’m darn sure it’s going to impact lives and those lives will in turn impact others. That’s why I support City of Hope.