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Leaving a Legacy of Giving

  February 6, 2024

It’s been more than three decades since Donna Lansink was diagnosed with a pituitary tumour in 1992, though the experience was one that shaped the path forward for her and her family.

She and her husband, Ben, met with Dr. Rolando Del Maestro, a neurosurgeon and co-founder of Brain Tumour Foundation of Canada, who was to perform Donna’s surgery.

“He was a person who hit me hard because he was so professional towards me and, of course, to Donna,” Ben says. Dr. Del Maestro assured Ben that his wife was in good hands and promised to update him as soon as Donna was out of surgery.

“What Dr. Del Maestro did was incredible,” recalls Donna. “My surgery was a success. I had radiation afterwards and here I am.”

Donna continues to take medication to balance her hormones following her surgery.

“Fortunately, it’s given her and me a reasonable life from when she had the operation until now,” Ben says.

Sharing their success

The Lansinks also feel fortunate to have found success in their professional life, building their business, Lansink Appraisals and Consulting, from the ground up.

“Donna and I both come from ‘no money’ backgrounds,” Ben says. “She didn’t inherit any money. I didn’t inherit any money. It’s not like anything was ever handed to us. We had to work for what we have so we appreciate the value of money very much.”

Through their hard-earned income and investments, they decided to give back to an organization that is near and dear to their hearts—Brain Tumour Foundation of Canada—and they did it in a way that made financial sense to them.

“Making a donation is not an easy thing to do, when you think of it as coming out of your pocket,” Ben says. “The easiest way to give money is if you own shares. When you give shares away, there are tax benefits to you, and it doesn’t matter to the receiving organization if it gets shares as opposed to actual cash. The shares can be turned into cash, so it’s useful either way.”

Through the sale of their shares, the Lansinks donated just under $100,000—and topped it up to make their gift an even $100,000.

A family contribution

The Lansinks credit their family for the contribution as well.

“We have three children and four grandsons,” says Ben. “We view the contribution as being a family contribution because that money would have gone into our estate and they would have received some of it. They are equal contributors, as far as we’re concerned.”

The Lansinks’ legacy of giving is one that will carry on. Their incredible $100,000 donation is going towards an endowment that will support students pursuing careers in the brain field.

“A brain tumour can happen to anyone,” Donna says, “and we want people to be able to survive that.”

Through their gift, and their long-time support of Brain Tumour Foundation of Canada, the Lansinks are doing what they can to make a difference in the lives of those who are diagnosed with a brain tumour.

“It’s quite a thought process to work for what you have and then to give it away,” says Ben, “but we’re happy we did it. And we’re happy we did it the way we did.”