Giving Through Your Will

Gift Planning


Nancy Sbrega spent 63 years married to the love of her life, Louis, known to those around him as “Gino.” The couple met rollerskating at the Winter Palace in Holyoke when Nancy was 15. Gino’s Army service could not deny their growing friendship and love. When he returned home, they picked right up, closer than ever.  Gino affectionately referred to Nancy as his “sun, moon and stars.” 

From learning Italian cooking from Gino’s mother to traveling together, the couple stayed connected as a team, especially when Nancy was diagnosed with lung cancer. Gino took care of her, and soon Gino’s sister Marcia came to help him. As Nancy’s health declined, they brought in Baystate Home Health & Hospice to help ensure Nancy was comfortable.

“We can’t say enough good things about hospice and all of the people there,” shared Gino. “I don’t know what we would have done on our own. We couldn’t have kept her home without the help of Baystate Hospice.”

Many team members helped with Nancy’s care, but three team members stood out – nurse Becca Flynn and hospice aids Rose Ladue and Donna Eaton. Nancy found great comfort in getting to know the team members who came regularly to provide compassionate care.  In Nancy’s last weeks, Marcia shared, having a consistent team of hospice care providers helped in many ways, including allowing Gino and her to stay focused on quality time with Nancy.

“There was a lot of humor in those last days and much of it was because of the Hospice team being here; we were able to enjoy our time together. And, what we couldn’t do, Hospice came in and did, so that all of us were able to participate. It was the best that it could have possibly been,” said Marcia.

Nancy was always thinking of others, including in her final weeks. She learned that she could support Baystate Home Health & Hospice through a donation and told Gino it was something she wanted to do.

“She wanted to show her appreciation for all of the help that she had through Hospice,” said Gino. 

The couple created a beneficiary designation gift for Baystate Health Foundation to benefit Baystate Hospice. This planned gift allows them to share gratitude for the care they received while giving back to an organization that made such a difference in their lives. Martin Degen, Executive Director of Baystate Home Health and Hospice, shares, “We are honored by Gino’s and Nancy’s recognition of our talented team and thank them for helping us provide resources that are so critical to our local community.”  

While Nancy passed away in February 2021, her thoughtfulness lives on through her generosity. 

Have you considered joining with others in our community to make a beneficiary designation gift, or to include a gift in your will or trust to Baystate Health Foundation to support your favorite hospital or program? If so, please let us know. We would love to hear your story and say thank you for making an impact. Reach out to Kylie Johnson at 413-794-7789 or


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