By James Ponder


After reading an article in the August edition of BOB Tales newsletter about Ron and Karen Hendricks, who remembered the James M. Slater, M.D., Proton Treatment and Research Center in their estate plan, an Orange County (CA) couple decided to do the same thing.

Frank and Sirpa Lee's journey began in March when Frank's urologist called with alarming news: "Hey Frank, you have cancer."

After his initial shock at both the news and his doctor's abrupt delivery, Frank thought he remembered seeing a copy of Robert J. Marckini's book—You Can Beat Prostate Cancer and You Don't Need Surgery to Do It—on his bookshelf.

"Sirpa had a friend from Finland," he explains, "who had advanced prostate cancer. The friend asked us to contact Loma Linda for him. They sent us a copy of Bob's book and I kept it since the friend doesn't speak English."

To his amazement, the book was right where Frank left it seven years earlier.

"It never occurred to me I might need it someday," he says. "I call it a miracle. Bob Marckini says it was divine intervention."

The urologist was not pleased when Frank asked about proton therapy. "Mr. Lee," the doctor asked, "have you been reading?"

Frank had, of course, and he was convinced that proton is safer, more effective, and less damaging to surrounding tissues than conventional radiation therapy. The urologist, however, favored surgery.

"I asked if there were other options," Frank recalls, "and he said, 'Yeah, robotic surgery.'"

Frank was surprised when the surgeon compared robotic surgery to handling chopsticks. "I can't even pick up food with chopsticks," Frank replied.

Next, the urologist sent Frank to a radiologist. "He wanted to treat me with IMRT radiation with seeds implanted in me. He also required me to have a CT scan after every three or four treatments to make sure the radiation had hit the target. I knew it would subject me to more radiation exposure."

That's when Frank decided in favor of proton therapy at Loma Linda University Medical Center. He's very glad he did.

"I had the best ever team at Loma Linda," he shares. "Everyone from Unique, Laura, and Jennifer at the front desk to the technicians—Vicki, Jan, Michelle, Kyle, Tim, Louis, Ben, Kimberly, and Savet—and of course, Amy Austin, Victoria Serrano, and Dr. Lynn Martell. These people do their absolute best to take care of the patients. I salute them!"

Forty-five treatments later, Frank marvels at the changes he continues to experience.

"He walks three miles every day now and works out at the gym," Sirpa says. "The treatment hasn't slowed him down a bit."

"I'm the poster child for proton," Frank beams. "I had zero side effects. Proton was the right answer for me."

Portions of the Lee's future estate will support proton research and call attention to the benefits of proton treatment over surgery or conventional radiation therapy.

"We remembered Loma Linda in our estate plan because we want to help others receive the help we got," Frank explains.

For more information about how to include Loma Linda in your estate plans, contact the Loma Linda University Health Office of Planned Giving at 909-558-4553 or visit www.llulegacy.org.

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A charitable bequest is one or two sentences in your will or living trust that leave to Loma Linda University Health a specific item, an amount of money, a gift contingent upon certain events or a percentage of your estate.

an individual or organization designated to receive benefits or funds under a will or other contract, such as an insurance policy, trust or retirement plan

"I give to Loma Linda University Health, a nonprofit corporation currently located at (LegalAddress), or its successor thereto, ______________* [written amount or percentage of the estate or description of property] for its unrestricted use and purpose."

able to be changed or cancelled

A revocable living trust is set up during your lifetime and can be revoked at any time before death. They allow assets held in the trust to pass directly to beneficiaries without probate court proceedings and can also reduce federal estate taxes.

cannot be changed or cancelled

tax on gifts generally paid by the person making the gift rather than the recipient

the original value of an asset, such as stock, before its appreciation or depreciation

the growth in value of an asset like stock or real estate since the original purchase

the price a willing buyer and willing seller can agree on

The person receiving the gift annuity payments.

the part of an estate left after debts, taxes and specific bequests have been paid

a written and properly witnessed legal change to a will

the person named in a will to manage the estate, collect the property, pay any debt, and distribute property according to the will

A donor advised fund is an account that you set up but which is managed by a nonprofit organization. You contribute to the account, which grows tax-free. You can recommend how much (and how often) you want to distribute money from that fund to Loma Linda or other charities. You cannot direct the gifts.

An endowed gift can create a new endowment or add to an existing endowment. The principal of the endowment is invested and a portion of the principal’s earnings are used each year to support our mission.

Tax on the growth in value of an asset—such as real estate or stock—since its original purchase.

Securities, real estate or any other property having a fair market value greater than its original purchase price.

Real estate can be a personal residence, vacation home, timeshare property, farm, commercial property or undeveloped land.

A charitable remainder trust provides you or other named individuals income each year for life or a period not exceeding 20 years from assets you give to the trust you create.

You give assets to a trust that pays our organization set payments for a number of years, which you choose. The longer the length of time, the better the potential tax savings to you. When the term is up, the remaining trust assets go to you, your family or other beneficiaries you select. This is an excellent way to transfer property to family members at a minimal cost.

You fund this type of trust with cash or appreciated assets—and may qualify for a federal income tax charitable deduction when you itemize. You can also make additional gifts; each one also qualifies for a tax deduction. The trust pays you, each year, a variable amount based on a fixed percentage of the fair market value of the trust assets. When the trust terminates, the remaining principal goes to Loma Linda as a lump sum.

You fund this trust with cash or appreciated assets—and may qualify for a federal income tax charitable deduction when you itemize. Each year the trust pays you or another named individual the same dollar amount you choose at the start. When the trust terminates, the remaining principal goes to Loma Linda as a lump sum.

A beneficiary designation clearly identifies how specific assets will be distributed after your death.

A charitable gift annuity involves a simple contract between you and Loma Linda where you agree to make a gift to Loma Linda and we, in return, agree to pay you (and someone else, if you choose) a fixed amount each year for the rest of your life.

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