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For Ron and Karen Hendricks, giving to proton research at Loma Linda University Health (LLUH) accomplishes several important objectives.

"Because we recognize that we are stewards, and not owners, of everything God has given us, we want to give back while we are alive as well as at our death," Ron explains. "My wife, Karen, and I have chosen to name LLUH as a partial beneficiary in our estate. We know someone invested in proton research so I could have treatment, and we want to help this research continue for the future use of others."

The couple journeyed more than 1,200 miles from their home in the far northwestern corner of Washington State to the James M. Slater, MD, Proton Treatment and Research Center in Loma Linda after Ron was diagnosed with prostate cancer. They weren't sure what to expect, but liked what they found once they arrived.

"Proton treatment for prostate cancer in the fall of 2011 changed my life," Ron observes. "I had never received such compassionate care."

Although Ron says he could list many people who contributed to his successful treatment at the Slater Center, the short list contains just three names.

"Our initial contact was Brooke Lawson, RN," he notes. "She really cared about me and drew me in. Brooke gave us the impression that Loma Linda really cares."

The next person he commends is J. Lynn Martell, MDiv, director of special services for the department of radiation medicine. "Lynn is amazing," Ron reports. "The way he facilitates the proton group makes everyone feel included."

Ron recommends the Brotherhood of the Balloon support group for current and former proton therapy patients and members of their families. He and Karen joined the Brotherhood during his treatment at the Slater Center and became members of the Proton Treatment Center Advisory Council in May of 2012. A year later, they were honored by acceptance into membership in the Heritage Society, a group of donors who have provided for the work of Loma Linda University Health through a planned gift of any size.

The third person on Ron's list is Robert J. Marckini, author of the best-selling book, You Can Beat Prostate Cancer And You Don't Need Surgery to Do It. "Bob's book gave indispensible instruction," he adds. "He is responsible for thousands of men coming to Loma Linda for life-saving treatment."

It might be a safe bet to say that Ron understands more about the value of planned giving than most of his colleagues in the Brotherhood of the Balloon-as director of gift planning at Trinity Western University, he coaches individuals and couples on ways to maximize the impact of their gifts on a daily basis. But he waxes almost poetic when describing the estate plan he and Karen set up.

"This is a gift that takes nothing away from current income," Ron reports. "We know that this gift will keep on giving for many years to impact so many lives."

For more information on planned giving options, please contact Todd Mekelburg or Todd Mekelburg in the Office of Planned Giving 909-558-4553.

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