John's Story: Leaving a Legacy of Hope

John's Story: Leaving a Legacy of Hope

Paul Coppard was the Executor for his brother John's will after John died of his glioblastoma multiforme brain tumour, at the peak of his personal and professional life. In his will, John asked that a bequest be made to an organization dedicated to cancer research and support. This was a fitting tribute to a man who had lived a life of service. 

John was educated at Royal Military College in Kingston, Ontario and from there he rose through the ranks in the Canadian Military. In 2006, he headed to Afghanistan as part of the Strategic Advisory Team.

By 2009 he was acting as a NATO spokesperson handling very sensitive security issues and working with the organization Human Rights Watch. Through all of this work, John brought passion for the desire and ability of communities, no matter where they are in the world, to lead their own change.  And he was in Afghanistan when dizzy spells forced a CT scan leading to the brain tumour diagnosis.

John passed away in March 2012 and not long after that, his family found themselves reassured by the significance of legacy giving. "Leaving a legacy gift is a meaningful way to make a difference. Our family struggled to find hope and meaning after this painful loss. An insidious disease such as glioblastoma multiform makes one realize that there are many more questions than answers."

"Leaving a bequest to Brain Tumour Foundation of Canada held a promise that others might benefit, both in research to answer questions and supports to families like ours.This promise for the future was a comfort during a difficult time." explains Paul. 

It is important to tell the stories of people like John and his family because many people don’t realize they have the capacity to make a major gift to charity that will change lives. A gift in your will, after your family is taken care of, or a gift of life insurance paid for through small premiums over your lifetime, is special because anyone can make a significant gift and leave a lasting legacy.

Through a legacy gift anyone can make a major impact to the future of those living with brain tumours; some donors want to invest in research and others choose to invest in programs that make a difference from the moment a patient is diagnosed.

Leaving a legacy for brain tumour patients and their families is a meaningful way to make a difference, recognize someone special or honour the memory of a lost loved one.

For John's family, the legacy gift left by John is just the beginning of helping those affected by this disease. John's sister-in-law Andrea has taken on a leadership role in Victoria B.C. with the aim to raise funds above and beyond John's gift. She, along with her family, has been impressed by the organization and all the work done thanks to the generosity of donors. 

As Paul says, "It was quickly evident that our contribution was being put to good use by skilled people with in-depth knowledge of brain tumour patient programs and research. It was a pleasure to support such a worthy cause."

<Learn more about Legacy Giving

Leaving a legacy is an element of estate planning, which is important to everyone. The importance of estate planning is explored in this article courtesy of volunteer and financial planner, Ryan Fraser.

For more information about how you can leave a legacy gift, please contact:

Suzanne Fratschko Elliott
1-800-265-5106 or 519-642-7755, ext. 227 

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Story posted: May 2014

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