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Jeanne and Lou MaceLou and Jeanne Mace of Rancho Mirage recently established a planned gift to help create an endowed chair in pediatrics at Loma Linda University Children's Hospital that will support research into cures for childhood diseases.

A board member of the Big Hearts for Little Hearts Desert Guild for the past seven years and past president of the organization, Jeanne raises funds and awareness for the hospital.

"Lou talked me into it," she says. "I told him, 'OK, but you have to go with me to the hospital to see why this is so important to me'."

Lou fell in love with the kids. "Lou and I had premature twins and lost one of them," Jeanne explains, "so we were particularly moved at seeing what they do for these littlest children on the neonatal ward."

The Maces are concerned for Coachella Valley children who need specialized medical care unavailable in the desert and for families who can't afford the care their children need.  

"Supporting Loma Linda University Children's Hospital helps families in need," Jeanne observes. "It's our way of giving back for all the blessings we've received."

The couple met in 1953 in Longview, Washington, and married three years later. Lou credits Jeanne for moving the family several times to support his career as a civil engineer.

"Jeanne put me through college and then went back to school herself," he brags. "She's amazing! She graduated with straight As in only three years despite having to put up with a very demanding husband and three kids."

"We are very blessed!" Jeanne says, reflecting on their 59-year marriage. "We have three children, five grandchildren and our second great-grandchild just arrived in June."

Adds Lou, "We have seen lots of poverty in our travels around the world and feel an obligation to help out. Children's Hospital is very worthwhile of our time and support. The best critical care available is at Loma Linda University Children's Hospital."

"That's right," Jeanne agrees, adding that the couple also salutes Big Hearts for Little Hearts Desert Guild for supporting the hospital.

"The Maces have demonstrated their dedication to the work of our Children's Hospital by including us in their estate plans," notes Todd Mekelburg, director of planned giving at Loma Linda University Health. "We are so grateful for their willingness to provide such a thoughtful and generous gift which will make a significant difference in the lives of the children we serve."

To learn more about how gifts in your estate benefit Loma Linda University Children's Hospital, contact Todd Mekelburg at or 909-558-4553. For information on the Big Hearts for Little Hearts Desert Guild, contact Josh Zahid at (909) 558-5384.

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