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Georgina Bonin and Anne Rosenblum Testimony

Georgina Bonin: Every breath is a gift

Georgina Bonin's steady stream of annual gifts to National Jewish Health stem from something beyond simple gratitude. True, National Jewish Health saved her life in 1954 when she was a young woman with an advanced case of tuberculosis. Beyond that, however, is a personal history fundamentally interwoven with National Jewish Health.

Georgina was not even 30 years old when she contracted tuberculosis. She spent four years in state hospitals in Texas, where they were unable to stop the disease's deadly progression. Georgina remembers overhearing one of the Texas doctors question why they should send her to Denver instead of someone with a chance to live.

National Jewish Health doctors proved them wrong. Here, Georgina's condition slowly improved, although it would be another two years before she returned to Texas with her new husband. Today, Georgina recalls warmly the kindness of staff and patients and the long walk through the tunnel leading from her room to the hospital's newer buildings. "People think I'm sort of peculiar. When I say that the two years I spent at National Jewish Health were the happiest moments of my life, they don't understand," says Georgina in her soft Scottish-Texas accent. But, she points out, National Jewish Health not only saved her life but introduced her to the man she would marry and love for 40 wonderful years.

Every year since her discharge in 1956, Georgina and her husband Allan gave whatever they could afford to National Jewish Health, increasing it a bit each year. Since Allan's death in 1996, Georgina makes her gifts in his memory. "After all," she says with a smile, "we wouldn't have had a life together at all if it hadn't been for National Jewish Health."

Although Georgina gives cash now, she has learned that there is a way for her to do more by making her gifts with stock that isn't generating any income for her now. She says she doesn't understand too much about stocks, but her accountant tells her that it's an easy and smart transaction to make with double tax benefits, so she just might do that in the future. "Whatever it takes to help National Jewish Health, I'll do," she says.

While Georgina Bonin and Anne Rosenblum don't know each other, they share a deep, personal knowledge of how National Jewish Health changes lives. A childhood asthmatic, Anne spent her formative years fighting to breathe. When she was 11, she was introduced to National Jewish Health by a family friend active in area fundraisers for the center. From that point forward, Anne never lost track of what the hospital was doing and even traveled to Denver to visit National Jewish Health.

As an adult, Anne's asthma improved. But her memories of asthma and the emotional scars the disease inflicts remained. For many years she postponed having a child of her own, fearing her son or daughter would also have asthma. "There is nothing worse than watching a child struggle to breathe," Anne states. Once she was able, Anne began making cash donations to National Jewish Health on a regular basis, sending a portion of her annual bonus check from IBM. Later, she decided to make National Jewish Health her charity of choice. A charitable gift to National Jewish Health is now part of her yearly budget. "There is just something about National Jewish Health," she says. "Their record of quality, their research work and their community outreach through LUNG LINE all combine to make it one of the best organizations I know."

As Anne continued to give serious thought about where she wanted to direct her charitable gifts, she also began considering how she was doing the giving. For years she made cash gifts, but Anne now uses appreciated stock to make her gifts to National Jewish Health. Giving stock is "good for me and good for National Jewish Health," she comments. She learned from a financial planner that, because capital gain taxes are eliminated, a transfer of stock allows her to make a larger gift to National Jewish Health.

So every year, Anne transfers shares to National Jewish Health in memory of her father, Noel Krupnik. It's her way of keeping him alive.

Of her decision to make National Jewish Health her charity of choice, Anne simply states, "It makes me feel good to support ongoing research which will someday make it possible for all children to breathe freely. Children shouldn't have to worry about whether or not there's a cat in the house or if it's okay to run around and play. They should just play."

Read more about Gifts of Securities.

Note: This information is provided to you as an educational service of National Jewish Health. It is not meant to be a substitute for consulting with your own physician.

© Copyright 2008 National Jewish Health

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