Giving Through Your Will

Gift Planning

donnaMeet Donna Feng, our newest Legacy Society member and longtime blood donor at Baystate Medical Center. Donna recently updated her estate plans to include a legacy gift to support Baystate Health’s Medical Transfusion Program. 

How did you start donating blood?

My high school biology teacher shared why he gave blood and the need for blood donors – and allowed us to skip class if we gave blood, and we were all about that! Seriously though, I got hooked on giving the gift of life.

Also, my birth parents both died of cancer when I was young. I remember my dad getting units of platelets. I can see them hanging from the stand. There were five little bags of platelets—five donors-worth of platelets in one treatment—and they went into his arm in minutes. That’s a lot of blood, so there’s that great need for people to give blood.

Years later, my adopted dad also needed blood, which I was able to donate for him. We actually became blood related!  

How did you decide to create a legacy gift in support of the Medical Transfusion Program? 

Estate planning is very difficult. You have to acknowledge that you’re going to die eventually, for one. I was struggling with what to do. I don’t have any “natural objects of my bounty” - that’s legalese for natural heirs - so then what? 

I talked to some friends. They were all leaving their legacies to charities and I had to pick out a charity. Suddenly, it just hit me like a ton of bricks – this is what I believe in. This is the greater good for me. This is what I can do for my community and for the medical transfusion team who mean so much to the health and welfare of so many people. I can support blood donation after I’m gone. It was like a “wow” moment for me. It stuck with me from the minute I came up with it.

Working with the Baystate Health Foundation team to set it up was extremely easy. I called and was connected immediately with staff, who put me at ease. We met, we talked about my goals, and she helped me with language. It was very easy.

What advice would you share with others about starting their estate planning? 

I asked for advice from friends and colleagues. Invariably, they were open and forthright, and I was surprised by that. I didn’t ever want to ask because I thought it was such a personal question but, come to find out, they wanted to talk about it. 

Since I’ve gotten my estate plans in order, I’m liberated thinking about it. I feel so good about this legacy gift. I am so excited to be able to contribute to the greater good. It’s all about the greater good.


Considering your own legacy?  Wondering about ways to give?  Reach out to Kylie Johnson at 413-794-7789 or Kylie.Johnson@BaystateHealth.org for a confidential conversation on how you can make a difference for lifesaving care. 

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