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Cancer Survivor's Gift Paints Brighter Future for Women

Pat FanningPatricia Fanning, lifetime St. Louis resident and legal secretary for 63 years, is a two-time survivor of ovarian cancer. Following treatment, what struck Pat most about her experience was how highly regarded the physicians providing her care were. "I hadn't ever really been ill before, but now, I can't imagine not having a deep connection to Barnes-Jewish Hospital," Pat says. "When you get to be my age, you feel comfortable knowing that some of the best doctors in the world are right here in St. Louis."

A Show of Thanks
When it came to thanking the hospital and its expert staff, Pat found that the perfect way was by creating a charitable gift annuity with The Foundation for Barnes-Jewish Hospital to help better diagnose, treat and find a cure for ovarian cancer. Because an annuity offers support well into the future, her gift is an important part of guaranteeing that Barnes-Jewish Hospital and Washington University School of Medicine continue to be leaders in improving ovarian cancer patient outcomes.

Pat's charitable gift annuity offers the opportunity to make a long-standing difference for Barnes-Jewish Hospital while supplementing Pat's retirement income with quarterly fixed payments now.

Pat admits that she had never made a major charitable donation before her gift to the Foundation. She credits her dear friend, the late Velda Crews, as the inspiration behind her gift. In 2000, Velda established an annuity through the Foundation to benefit the Alvin J. Siteman Cancer Center at Barnes-Jewish Hospital and Washington University School of Medicine.

"Knowing what Velda gave to the Foundation-and the sizeable amount of income she received and income taxes she saved while doing it-made me realize you can do a good thing for the hospital and still benefit your retirement plans in the process," Pat says.

Paying It Forward
Velda's influence also inspired her lawyer, and Pat's colleague, the late Edwin Schaefer, to make a gift. "Edwin was a very intelligent man," Pat says. "He was fortunate to still have a good mind until he passed away in 2008 at age 90. He often thought how challenging it must be for people to lose cognitive ability as they aged." In response, shortly before he passed away, Edwin funded an endowment for neurology and neuroscience research through The Foundation for Barnes-Jewish Hospital. Pat also recognizes that if it weren't for others who made previous gifts to advance ovarian cancer research, her options for treatment and opportunity to be a survivor would have been greatly diminished. "I am thankful to those who have funded ovarian cancer treatment research that has been so important to me," Pat says. "I wanted to do the same for someone in the future, to ensure that other women facing this diagnosis will benefit from treatment research, as a blessing for them."

Pat's generous spirit also inspired Velda to once again step forward to support Barnes-Jewish Hospital by establishing an additional fund to provide scholarship support for students at the Goldfarb School of Nursing at Barnes-Jewish College.

Advancing Patient Care and Research
By establishing the Pat Fanning Endowed Ovarian Cancer Research Fund in 2010, Pat is a true partner in helping Barnes-Jewish Hospital transform health care in St. Louis and beyond for future generations. "I hope my planned gift makes patient care and research grow and flourish at Barnes-Jewish Hospital," Pat says.

With her gift, Pat says she hopes to attract more distinguished physicians to Barnes-Jewish Hospital. She imagines her legacy gift will sustain significant advances in research that will detect ovarian cancer at an earlier stage-when successful treatment is more likely. By establishing the Endowed Ovarian Cancer Research Fund, Pat ensures that Barnes-Jewish Hospital, along with its partner, Washington University School of Medicine, will continue to be national leaders in medicine and the patient experience.