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Gift Planning

Giving the Gift of Life...Twice!

katelynBy Marilyn Unger

February 1, 2008. That was the day we discovered that Katelyn had only one kidney.

On February 6, our doctor called and told us to get Katelyn to the emergency room at Children's Mercy immediately—she was in renal failure!

After the initial exam by the ER doctors, the diagnosis was "end stage renal disease."

We were completely shocked and overwhelmed by the news. Katelyn, then 17, had never been sick in her life, other than with a cold or touch of the flu. This was the first time we had ever taken her to the hospital, and now they were telling us that she was going to have to be admitted for several days.

It was the worst day of our lives.

Taking a difficult path
We were all very scared about what was going to happen in the coming days. On Feb. 7, Katelyn had a hemodialysis catheter placed in her chest and began dialysis treatments. She had dialysis three days a week, four hours each day.

We were told that Katelyn would remain on dialysis until she could get a kidney transplant. At first, dialysis was very hard on her. She would come home on dialysis days completely worn out and would just go to sleep.

She had to miss a lot of school and adjust her class schedule to allow for her absences. It was a tremendous adjustment for Katelyn.

When a mother can help
Although Katelyn remained positive and was extremely strong through it all, we knew we had to get the transplant done as quickly as possible, and so I was the first to be tested. I began my testing in early April and on May 7 we received the news that I would be her donor. I was thrilled that I would get to give my baby girl the gift of life a second time.

This was one of the best days of our lives!

Katelyn's transplant was performed on June 17, 2008. She has had her new kidney for almost three years now and is feeling wonderful!

Getting on with her life
She is finishing her second year of college at Missouri State University with a major in accounting. She will graduate in December of 2012 with her bachelor's degree and plans to graduate with a master's degree the following December.

Katelyn will be transitioning to adult care this fall. We will miss the exceptional care we've received at CMH, but with the help of the staff in the Kidney Center, we are confident that they will make it a smooth transition for our family, and especially for Katelyn.

Words can't express our appreciation for the staff at CMH. Everyone we met was exceptionally kind and caring. Katelyn's doctor always made time for our questions and concerns, and Katelyn felt very comfortable with him.

He was always extremely positive about Katelyn's recovery, even when things were at their worst. We are so thankful that we were able to get Katelyn's treatment at Children's Mercy!

How you can help people like Katelyn
You can influence lives and provide hope to patients like Katelyn by including Children's Mercy in your estate plans. It isn't difficult and doesn't need to affect your current finances.

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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