My Brother

“Larry, this is mom.  Ron is in surgery in Vancouver.  He has cancer.”

Imagine getting this phone call about your little brother… perhaps you have already received a similar call about a friend, co-worker, or family member.

My younger brother was 25 at the time.  Diagnosed with lymphoma he was in surgery having his spleen and lymph nodes removed.  I am blessed that nearly 30 years after that conversation with my mom, I was able to speak with him on the phone last evening about coming over for a visit to see me.

Working now for the Canadian Cancer Society I have a much better understanding of what a family can do when they get this news.  Initially I went through a very normal pattern of emotions:  fear, anxiety, helplessness, despair, and anger.

I have found that many people want to do something fairly quickly.  We don’t want to stand on the sidelines while our loved ones are fighting for their lives.  Many people make time and volunteer for their cause.  Some will donate money on the spot.  We all want to do whatever it takes to help and to make us feel we can personally be involved.

However, later on with the perspective of time and healing we look for deeper and more meaningful ways to contribute.  I have conversations everyday with people who want to make a planned charitable gift.  Everyone has a cause they want to support and for many that is the fight against cancer.  I engage in meaningful conversations with them to better understand their charitable motivation and to encourage them to carefully consider the impact that they want to make.  Then we discuss the best method (or combination of methods) to make a planned gift.  It could be as simple as changing a beneficiary designation on an RRSP to a charity, to making a gift of a life insurance policy, or updating their will to include their charity or cause of choice.

There are significant tax benefits that come from giving; but I find that these are always secondary to that more profound interest of “doing something for my little brother”.

I offer my specialist support at no obligation to individual donors and to professional advisors and their clients.  Please feel free to contact me if you would like to have a conversation about making your own impact… no matter the charitable cause that inspires you.

Larry D. Amstutz, CHS
Charitable Giving Advisor
Canadian Cancer Society, BC and Yukon Division
Charity Reg. # 11882-9803 RR0002Tel: +1 604 675 7351 Cell: +1 778 867 5015
565 West 10th Avenue
Vancouver, BC V5Z 4J4



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