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Gift Planning

A Better Life Is Now in Sight

Following a successful vision surgery at Children's Mercy, Michael Motelet and his mom, Teresa Owens, are seeing incredible improvements in his cognitive abilities.

Following a successful vision surgery at Children's Mercy, Michael Motelet and his mom, Teresa Owens, are seeing incredible improvements in his cognitive abilities.

For children with severe vision problems, daily life means seeing the world as a constant blur of colors and chaos.

But for Michael Motelet of Overland Park, Kan., fuzzy vision was one of many ailments robbing him of life's full picture.

The Many Struggles
Teresa Owens adopted Michael when he was 7 years old. She was well aware of his lengthy list of physical and cognitive disabilities—severe autism, cerebral palsy and scoliosis in addition to being deaf and mute. One doctor also told her Michael was blind; another said his sight "wasn't worth trying to fix"—because of his other challenges.

His limitations made it difficult for him to achieve developmental milestones or even learn basic life skills. But despite his severe challenges, Teresa was optimistic that hard work and the right medical care would enable her son to experience life to its fullest.

Getting Answers
Fix the vision, and he'll improve.

Teresa knew this was necessary for Michael, as his vision problems were limiting his ability to focus and learn. If his sight could be restored, perhaps he could work to overcome his other disabilities.

The only problem was finding a treatment option—and a highly skilled surgeon to perform it. It didn't take long for her search to lead to Children's Mercy, where Erin Stahl, MD conducts specialized refractive surgery procedures.

Dr. Stahl determined Michael would benefit greatly from a laser procedure called Photorefractive Keratectomy. And it didn't take long for that assessment to prove true. The surgery was performed in early April 2013, and within two weeks, Michael already showed improvement.

"His teacher told me after his first day back, ‘Wow, we've noticed such a difference,'" Teresa says. "He's more attentive and takes initiative to learn new things."

Brighter Days Ahead
For parents who have children with disabilities, progress can be a long road. But Teresa now has hopes that Michael's vision improvement will be the first of many future breakthroughs. With his vision clear, he'll be able to interact with his learning devices and focus better when practicing new skills. Teresa said Michael's potential is looking much brighter, all thanks to the care he received at Children's Mercy.

"Dr. Stahl is a great doctor; she was so dedicated to helping Michael. If I could point parents in a direction, it would be to Children's Mercy. They go to bat for the kids," she says.

Make a Difference
To find out more about how you can help Children's Mercy ensure that children in our region continue to benefit from the highest-quality health care, please contact Phil Watson at (816) 701-4339 or pawatson@cmh.edu">pawatson@cmh.edu.

eBrochure Request Form

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A charitable bequest is one or two sentences in your will or living trust that leave to Children's Mercy a specific item, an amount of money, a gift contingent upon certain events or a percentage of your estate.

an individual or organization designated to receive benefits or funds under a will or other contract, such as an insurance policy, trust or retirement plan

"I give to Children's Mercy, a nonprofit corporation currently located at Kansas City, MO, or its successor thereto, ______________* [written amount or percentage of the estate or description of property] for its unrestricted use and purpose."

able to be changed or cancelled

A revocable living trust is set up during your lifetime and can be revoked at any time before death. They allow assets held in the trust to pass directly to beneficiaries without probate court proceedings and can also reduce federal estate taxes.

cannot be changed or cancelled

tax on gifts generally paid by the person making the gift rather than the recipient

the original value of an asset, such as stock, before its appreciation or depreciation

the growth in value of an asset like stock or real estate since the original purchase

the price a willing buyer and willing seller can agree on

The person receiving the gift annuity payments.

the part of an estate left after debts, taxes and specific bequests have been paid

a written and properly witnessed legal change to a will

the person named in a will to manage the estate, collect the property, pay any debt, and distribute property according to the will

A donor advised fund is an account that you set up but which is managed by a nonprofit organization. You contribute to the account, which grows tax-free. You can recommend how much (and how often) you want to distribute money from that fund to Children's Mercy or other charities. You cannot direct the gifts.

An endowed gift can create a new endowment or add to an existing endowment. The principal of the endowment is invested and a portion of the principal’s earnings are used each year to support our mission.

Tax on the growth in value of an asset—such as real estate or stock—since its original purchase.

Securities, real estate or any other property having a fair market value greater than its original purchase price.

Real estate can be a personal residence, vacation home, timeshare property, farm, commercial property or undeveloped land.

A charitable remainder trust provides you or other named individuals income each year for life or a period not exceeding 20 years from assets you give to the trust you create.

You give assets to a trust that pays our organization set payments for a number of years, which you choose. The longer the length of time, the better the potential tax savings to you. When the term is up, the remaining trust assets go to you, your family or other beneficiaries you select. This is an excellent way to transfer property to family members at a minimal cost.

You fund this type of trust with cash or appreciated assets—and may qualify for a federal income tax charitable deduction when you itemize. You can also make additional gifts; each one also qualifies for a tax deduction. The trust pays you, each year, a variable amount based on a fixed percentage of the fair market value of the trust assets. When the trust terminates, the remaining principal goes to Children's Mercy as a lump sum.

You fund this trust with cash or appreciated assets—and may qualify for a federal income tax charitable deduction when you itemize. Each year the trust pays you or another named individual the same dollar amount you choose at the start. When the trust terminates, the remaining principal goes to Children's Mercy as a lump sum.

A beneficiary designation clearly identifies how specific assets will be distributed after your death.

A charitable gift annuity involves a simple contract between you and Children's Mercy where you agree to make a gift to Children's Mercy and we, in return, agree to pay you (and someone else, if you choose) a fixed amount each year for the rest of your life.

Personal Estate Planning Kit Request Form

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