A legacy of giving first connected Herb and Jeannie Sundby with Oregon Health & Science University. Jeannie’s family members, several of whom suffered from neurodegenerative diseases, established a donor advised fund as part of their estate planning. Through their process of recommending grants from the family donor advised fund, Jeannie and her sister became increasingly familiar with OHSU’s world-class physicians and scientists.
However, it wasn’t until Herb’s prostate cancer diagnosis and subsequent treatment that the Sundbys experienced firsthand the many strengths of OHSU’s expertise. They were inspired by what they found.
“Touring the research labs and talking to the people about their fields of study left us both feeling very impressed,” Herb says. “OHSU has top-quality people within its walls.”
Wanting to Do More
Following Herb’s successful cancer treatment, the Sundbys knew they wanted to do more to support OHSU’s work—not just through the donor advised fund, but also with their own contributions. They soon began making qualified charitable distributions through their IRAs to OHSU while continuing to recommend grants through the family donor advised fund.
For the Sundbys, making gifts to advance research aimed at treating and curing neurodegenerative diseases was another way to honor Jeannie’s family. “Someday, we’ll beat these diseases,” Herb says. “If our contributions can help reach that point sooner, we’re proud to do it.”
After meeting with faculty to deepen their understanding of research at OHSU, the Sundbys were inspired to establish an endowed fund supporting research for Parkinson’s and Alzheimer’s diseases, the Elkins-Sundby Fund for Alzheimer’s and Parkinson’s Research. To further support the future of the endowment, they updated their estate plans to include charitable gifts to their fund.
‘A Real Future’
“By including OHSU in their estate plans, the Sundbys give our research teams the assurance that there is a real future in their efforts to change lives impacted by neurodegenerative diseases,” said Joseph Quinn, M.D., Director, OHSU Parkinson Center and Movement Disorders Program.
Herb and Jeannie agree. “It takes time, money and quality people to do research with the potential to improve people’s lives,” Herb says. “Having the ability to contribute is a good thing for my wife and me.”
An issue of our planned giving newsletter Insights featured a concept known as “blended giving,” an approach that allows you to make a bigger impact than you thought possible, by combining current gifts with one for the future. The Sundbys have done exactly that. Their generosity, vision and intelligent estate planning have embraced numerous sources for giving, creating the perfect blended gift. It’s a gift that will help conquer neurological disease now and into the future—an impactful continuation of a legacy of giving.
What’s Your Legacy?
A gift in your estate plan is one of the most important philanthropic tools for advancing science and medicine, empowering care providers, researchers and institutions like OHSU to continue their work for generations to come. Contact us to learn how you can begin your own legacy of giving.