Embracing a Life of Purpose and Generosity
Nestled in Southern California, Jeffrey Okyle’s life unfolds as proof of the enduring power of family values. His journey to a life of charity is an intriguing blend of a traditional upbringing and a foundation of helping others in need — a foundation that set the stage for Jeffrey to include City of Hope® in his life and his legacy.
Growing up in a household reminiscent of a classic TV show, his parents instilled in him the significance of making a positive impact on the world. A pivotal moment for Jeffrey came when his parents organized a fundraising drive in 1973 for the Yom Kippur war. That event had a lasting impact and shaped his lifelong commitment to philanthropy.Read More
“I don’t need the fanciest car. I’d rather leave my mark by making the world and society better.” Jeffrey says.
Tragedy struck when Jeffrey’s father succumbed to Hodgkin’s lymphoma at the age of 53. This profound loss prompted him to contemplate the significance of leaving behind a meaningful legacy. Motivated by personal experiences with cancer, diabetes (his sister) and the prevalence of HIV in the LGBTQIA+ community, he vowed to align his contributions with causes close to his heart.
Jeffrey’s passion for science and medicine led him to join the inaugural board of City of Hope’s Los Angeles Real Estate Council and take multiple tours at City of Hope, where he delved into the latest advancements in science and research. Inspired by the organization’s dedication to addressing cancer, HIV and diabetes, he found a cause that resonated deeply with his values.
Witnessing City of Hope’s innovative scientiﬁc research and its commitment to the well-being of patients and their families, he became an advocate for their mission. “We can see the subtle changes made for patients — the welcome center, emotional support, care for the family and, of course, the research and manufacturing of drugs,” Jeffrey says. He also deepened his commitment, naming City of Hope a beneﬁciary of his estate plan. By doing so, he ensures a lasting impact that extends beyond his lifetime.
For Jeffrey, supporting City of Hope is not just a ﬁnancial commitment — it’s a deeply personal and philosophical choice. In sharing his story, Jeffrey wants others to think about the importance of legacy planning. “Many are not aware you can give without necessarily spending your money today.” He encourages others to explore their passions, conduct research, take tours and make commitments to causes that resonate with their values. “I feel a sense of purpose and responsibility to provide what I can for causes close to my heart, such as City of Hope.”Read Less
My Journey to Recovery Began With a Second Opinion
— Kommah McDowell, Breast cancer survivor
At 28 years old, I was conﬁdently navigating life — engaged to be married, with a promising career and staying ﬁt through kickboxing. Then, a lump in my right breast disrupted everything. My doctor at the time said I had a 5% chance of surviving two years. He also said I would never have children.
My journey to recovery and the many joys that came with it, including giving birth, all began with my decision to get a second opinion at City of Hope.
Days after my diagnosis, I had my ﬁrst appointment at City of Hope’s Women’s Health Center. I learned that I not only had breast cancer, but I was Stage 4 and had two rare forms of breast cancer: triple-negative and inﬂammatory breast cancer, or IBC. IBC is very aggressive, and survival is relatively poor compared to other forms of breast cancer.Read More
City of Hope developed a strategy that included chemotherapy, radiation and surgery, and treated me as a person. I wasn’t just a patient, a chart. I mattered. My team cared for me all through the journey. They knew what was important to me, my dreams and my hope of having a family.
Exactly two years after my ﬁnal radiation treatment, I heard more astonishing medical news: I was pregnant. Considering the type of cancer I had and how aggressive it was, I know he’s a miracle.
Cancer was the greatest challenge of my life that has reﬁned me. I thank God — I am stronger spiritually, mentally and emotionally. Now, 18 years after my diagnosis, I am free of cancer and living happily with my husband, whom I had married between chemo appointments, and my precious 14-year-old son.Read Less
City of Hope’s Commitment to Patient Care
At City of Hope, we put the patient at the center of care, developing customized treatment plans tailored to each person’s unique needs. Hands-on guidance from our staff is intended to help make living with cancer, diabetes or other serious illness as stress-free as possible, for both the patient and the caregiver(s).
Support Groups — Connecting with others who are also ﬁghting similar health care experiences can be empowering. Learning from people who have been where you are, or those who are experiencing it for the ﬁrst time, it can be informative and comforting to know you’re not alone. When you need extra support or want to hear how others have endured similar situations, there are many different support programs available.
Caregiver Support — About 17 million adults are living with cancer in the United States today. For each patient, a caregiver is sharing in the cancer journey. Caring for a cancer patient is an important job that plays a fundamental role in that patient’s recovery. Being a caregiver comes with its own set of challenges. It’s a role for which most people feel unprepared. It takes time and understanding to adjust to the changes. To learn more about our resources for patient and caregivers, visit CityofHope.org/patients.
Your Gift Can Help Save Others
Transferring your property into a City of Hope charitable remainder trust means that aft er it is sold, the proceeds are invested and you (and/or your loved ones) will receive income for life or for a specified number of years. You will be eligible for a charitable income tax deduction and after the trust term ends, the funds will be distributed to City of Hope for the purposes you designate.
The Beneﬁts to You and City of Hope …
- Receive lifetime income for yourself, your spouse or another beneﬁciary.
- Be eligible for an immediate tax deduction.
- Bypass capital gains tax on the transfer of your property.
- Convert a non-income producing property into a lifetime stream of income.
- Create a meaningful impact on the lives of people with cancer, diabetes and other serious illnesses.
Meet Michael and Susan
“Sometimes a succession plan doesn’t work out as we would hope. It was a hard decision, but I feel great about donating property to a charitable trust benefiting City of Hope, knowing that my life’s work is going to be reflected in something so important and meaningful and good for the world. Everything about City of Hope, from the grounds to the buildings to everyone we’ve met, and the care they show to everyone — it’s perfect.”— Michael Thomas, Legacy of Hope Society member