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Martha Newell

A Debt of Gratitude

Matha Newell believes gratitude keeps her body and spirit healthy. "I take a moment every day to think of the blessings in my life," she says. And at 90 years old, she has many. Mrs. Newell lives an active life, still managing her own affairs, playing the piano every day, and swimming three times a week. Most of all, she is thankful for her family. Her three daughters live close to her home in Richmond, Va., as do most of her grandchildren and great-grandchildren.

We don't have a family history of this disease, and we don't know what triggered its onset.

—Martha Newell

Her gratitude now extends to Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center (MSK). Mrs. Newell's grandson, Carrington Williams, was treated successfully at MSK for a recurrent brain tumor. Cancer-free since 2007, he is the proud father of three daughters-and an avid runner who completed the New York City Marathon. "We appreciate the incredible care Carrington received at Memorial Sloan Kettering,"

Mrs. Newell says. "He was treated with skill and compassion at every turn."

Wishing to honor MSK and her grandson, Mrs. Newell established a gift annuity to advance innovative brain tumor research.

"We don't have a family history of this disease," she says, "and we don't know what triggered its onset in Carrington. By supporting research, we want to help clinicians and scientists better understand, treat, and ultimately prevent this cancer."

Mrs. Newell's gift will be directed to high-priority emerging research led by Dr. Lisa DeAngelis, chair of MSK's Department of Neurology and co-executive director of the Brain Tumor Center.

For example, recent discoveries suggest that a small population of cells within the most malignant brain tumors is different from standard cancer cells. Even after conventional therapy kills the vulnerable tumor cells, this subpopulation can repopulate the tumor with new cancer cells, causing it to recur. An MSK research team has shown that a novel class of drugs can transform these cells into standard cancer cells—significantly enhancing the powerful anti-tumor effects of radiation and chemotherapy. Now the team is preparing to test one of these drugs in patients.

"We are truly grateful to Mrs. Newell for her generous investment in our work, and we are honored to be the recipient of her planned gift," says Dr. DeAngelis. "Philanthropy allows us the freedom to take on promising projects like this clinical trial and speeds lifesaving new therapies to patients. Our goal is to bring better outcomes and quality of life to brain tumor patients around the world. With friends like Mrs. Newell, we can make this a reality"

Memorial Sloan Kettering gratefully acknowledges her visionary commitment to the Center's future and recognizes her as a member of the Cullum Society.

Click here to read other inspiring stories of support.

A charitable bequest is one or two sentences in your will or living trust that leave to Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center 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 bequeath to Memorial Sloan-Kettering Cancer Center, a New York nonprofit corporation having a principal place of business at 1275 York Avenue, New York, NY 10065, Federal Tax ID #13-1924236, ____percent of my total estate (or $_____, or other property) to be used or disposed of as Memorial Sloan-Kettering Cancer Center in its sole discretion deems appropriate.

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 MSK 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 MSK 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 MSK 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 MSK where you agree to make a gift to MSK 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.

A tax imposed at one's death on the transfer of most types of property. Currently federal estate taxes are assessed in 2019 on estates worth more than $11.2 million. The maximum estate tax rate is 40 percent. Some states also impose taxes at death that vary depending on state law.

A written legal instrument created by a grantor for the benefit of him/herself (during life) or others (during life or at death).

A revocable trust established by a grantor during his or her lifetime in which the grantor transfers some or all of his or her property into the trust.

Equity or debt instruments, typically shares listed on a stock exchange, which can be readily bought or sold.