Patient’s legacy gift celebrates “second life” and will fuel research

Lu Kleppinger, of Vienna, Va., has loved every minute of the past few years. She’s been busy volunteering, traveling with her husband, Tony Sabló, and spending time with her beloved toy poodle, Maia. Lu describes this time as the most joyful of her life and she says it is all possible because of Dana-Farber Cancer Institute.

“Dana-Farber has given me a second life,” Lu said. “To say that the years post-cancer treatment are the best is inexpressible.”

Lu’s beloved toy poodle, Maia, has been by her side throughout her cancer journey!

In gratitude and celebration of this “second life,” Lu and Tony have included a generous gift to Dana-Farber in their will. Their future gift will propel research and help families grappling with the same rare blood cancer Lu was treated for at Dana-Farber.

After her diagnosis of Waldenström’s macroglobulinemia in 2012, Lu was referred by her oncologist in Virginia to Dana-Farber’s Bing Center for Waldenström’s Macroglobulinemia Research. She underwent 18 months

of treatment and is now healthy and grateful to Bing Center director Steven Treon, MD, PhD, and administrative director Christopher Patterson.

“Without Dr. Treon’s extraordinary attention and maintenance therapy, I’m not sure I would be here today,” Lu said.

“Dr. Treon’s treatment was not only life-giving, but he and Chris both also offered tremendous emotional support to Tony and me,” she added. “Now I have the good fortune of being in the compassionate care of Dr. Jorge Castillo, which gives me great confidence.”

In appreciation for the comprehensive care that has focused on all aspects of Lu’s health, Lu and Tony decided to make a legacy gift to Dana-Farber.

“We wanted to make the largest impact possible to move Dana-Farber and Dr. Treon’s world-renowned and groundbreaking research forward for Waldenström’s patients and caregivers, and we can do this through our estate plans,” Lu said. “What greater gift can we give than one that saves lives? For us, it’s the ultimate gift.”

Lu and Tony found the process of setting up their gift simple and they were able to customize their estate plans to support the Bing Center for Waldenström’s Macroglobulinemia Research at Dana-Farber and take care of their needs for retirement.

“It’s great peace of mind to know our support is going to save lives,” Lu said. “We believe research will conquer cancer and we are happy to be giving back on behalf of the world-class care I received.”

To learn more about planned giving at Dana-Farber, please contact Erin McKenna, Assistant Vice President, Gift Planning, at 800-535-5577 or Erin_McKenna@dfci.harvard.edu.

This story appears in the latest issue of Planning Matters, our planned giving newsletter.