For Dave and Theresann Seeger, it was never a question of whether they should give back to health care and an institution they have known and loved for years. It was a question of how.
The Seegers first became acquainted with RUSH University Medical Center in the 1980s when Theresann’s father was treated here. However, their passion for RUSH blossomed after the extraordinary care her mother received following a Parkinson’s disease diagnosis.
That care led Theresann to meet and work closely with Brian Cole, MD, a renowned orthopedic surgeon at RUSH, on his radio show and “Sports Medicine Weekly” podcast before joining the RUSH Associates Board a little more than a decade ago.
The RUSH Associates Board is comprised of professionals united by their commitment to RUSH’s mission. They act as ambassadors for RUSH, sharing a common goal of advancing patient care, encouraging groundbreaking medical research and reaching out in service to the surrounding Chicago community.
“There’s not much that’s more important than our health,” Theresann said. “The knowledge Dr. Cole shares helped me appreciate the lifelong dedication required of the professionals who care for us. They deserve special recognition because they are protecting our health and the health of our families and friends. Being a part of the RUSH Associates Board has helped me to further understand how the whole system works – it’s admirable how they devote their lives to keeping us well.”
Theresann’s work with the board provided her ample opportunity to give back and learn more about an institution she had grown to love.
The decision to make a planned gift
The relationship Theresann and Dave continued to cultivate over the years with RUSH was further exemplified by their annual giving and membership in the Anchor Cross Society, which celebrates donors who provide significant support year after year.
Their routine of regularly donating to RUSH eventually led them to consider what more they could do, which is how they came to the decision to make a generous bequest intention in support of orthopedics and Parkinson’s disease.
“What we set out to do is make RUSH one of the heirs to our estate,” Dave said. “We set it up so that RUSH will receive a certain percentage. As our estate grows, the amount RUSH will receive at our passing will grow with it. The process was easy thanks to Derek Lambert, Michelle Boardman and Susan Sasvari in the Office of Philanthropy.”
Planned gifts of all sizes and designations from grateful patients, alumni, faculty, staff and more enable RUSH to fulfill its mission to provide the highest quality patient care, research, education and community outreach. As the field of health care evolves, deferred gifts help secure RUSH’s future and ensure that valuable resources will be there when they are needed most. Gifts like what the Seegers have intended will not only make an impact on RUSH’s future but also ensure the availability of assets to them during their lifetime. In appreciation of their gift, Dave and Theresann are also recognized as members of the RUSH Heritage Society.
“I think a major attraction with this type of gift is that it’s flexible,” Dave said. “As your life circumstances change and your interests evolve, you can reappropriate the funds to different areas because you’re not locked in. The hope is that our gift can help give a higher quality of life to people. I think RUSH is capable of making that a reality. The care RUSH provides is so important, and the research element is critical.”
Hope for a brighter tomorrow
RUSH is a leader in the Chicago region and the nation when it comes to care and research that protects, preserves and restores brain health. At the same time, RUSH is actively accelerating discovery and innovating surgical and nonsurgical bone and joint care, extending and restoring mobile and pain-free lives.
Theresann and Dave are hopeful for a cure for Parkinson’s disease in the future and are excited to see the progress that can be made in orthopedics research.
“It’s certainly safe to say our brains give to ortho, and our hearts give to Parkinson’s,” Theresann said. “With orthopedics, it’s so important to be able to move our bodies with freedom and without pain. The research done at RUSH in that area is near and dear to my heart. And I’ve got direct experience with Parkinson’s. It’s a devastating illness that desperately needs a cure.
“I’m familiar with many of the professionals at RUSH. Their integrity is beyond compare. I have so much faith and trust in the work they are doing now and will continue to do in the future.”