Where there’s a will, there’s a way
Family means everything to Danny and Chris.
The siblings are among the youngest of 11 children in the DePrest family who immigrated to Canada from Belgium in 1954 after hearing friends and family boast of ‘roads paved with gold and money everywhere’.
But the reality of what the family found didn’t quite measure up to the stories they were told. The DePrests settled in a home in Strathroy – a small house with no heat, hydro or running water and a broken-down truck.
It may not have been the lavish life they were promised, but the family was rich with resilience and determination, their hard work holding them in good stead as they embraced a new life and all that came with it – supporting each other every step of the way.
Years later, the DePrest family values remain strong and have carried both Danny and Chris through trials of their own, including serious health issues.
Chris remains resilient in the face of an eye disease called age-related macular degeneration. The disease, which can blur central vision, has required her to undergo cataract surgery and receive periodic injections at the Ivey Eye Institute of St. Joseph’s Health Care London (St. Joseph’s) to slow the progress. Danny, meanwhile, has had several urological operations at St. Joseph’s, including the surgical removal of two large kidney stones,
Inspired by the quality of their care, the siblings decided to make a legacy gift to St. Joseph’s Health Care Foundation through their wills.
“What they have done for me, especially with my eyes, I felt it was important to give back,” says Chris. “I just hope that St. Joseph’s can stay as good as it is now well into the future. And I believe the more I can give, the better the health care system will be.”
“No one likes going to the hospital,” adds Danny, “but if you’ve got to go, you want to know that you’re going to be well taken care of. It’s why I made my gift.”
Danny also volunteers his time – another way he gives back – as part of a study at St. Joseph’s Parkwood Institute led by geriatrician Dr. Michael Borrie.
Legacy giving and the value of generosity isn’t new to the DePrest family. The siblings’ father made a legacy gift in his will many years ago, and the pair are happy to carry on the family’s tradition. The combined generosity of Danny and Chris will help ensure the cutting-edge technology and medical research that enabled their care is sustained for future generations of their family and the community.
“It feels good to leave something behind,” says Danny humbly. “It’s like leaving something for your own family – you just know so many other people will benefit from it.”
Will building healthier communities be your legacy?
You don’t have to choose between loved ones and supporting health care when planning your will. Even a small portion of your estate has the power to improve or even save someone’s life.
By leaving a legacy gift in your will to St. Joseph’s Health Care Foundation, you can enhance care for family, friends and community for years to come. Whether it’s state-of-the-art imaging equipment that detects cancer at an early stage, training the next generation of surgical leaders, or medical research that pushes the boundaries of what’s possible, your future gift will make a meaningful difference.
Find more more information about leaving a legacy at St. Joseph’s.
Facts about legacy giving in Canada
- One in two Canadians say they have a will but only one in three Canadians say it is up to date.
- Legacy giving accounts for approximately 20 per cent of philanthropic contributions to St. Joseph’s Health Care Foundation.
- If only 3.5 per cent more Canadians included a gift in their will in the coming decade, $40 billion would be directed to charitable causes.