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Wisconsin Donor Proudly Gives $20,000 to Hospital That Helped Extend Husband’s Life

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Retired Bank Vice President Praises National Jewish Health Charitable Gift Annuities

Lois KasterPhysicians and researchers at National Jewish Health work hard to provide the best quality of life to people who have trouble breathing.  

This important mission is made possible thanks to donors like Lois M. Kaster, whose husband, Ben, was treated at National Jewish Health – the nation’s leading respiratory hospital – in 2008. Before Ben passed away in 2012, National Jewish Health helped him learn to better manage his condition.

Ben, a retired equipment supervisor for the highway department in Green County, Wisconsin, struggled with chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD), emphysema and asthma.

“He was a very kind gentleman,” Lois said about her husband of 58 years. “He was always concerned about everyone around him. We had a wonderful life together.”

Lois, who is grateful for the care her husband received, recently funded her second charitable gift annuity for National Jewish Health. Charitable gift annuities provide support to the hospital and fixed payments back to the donor for the rest of his or her life.

“An annuity provides an extra source of income, and I can use that money to fund other charities,” said Lois, a retired community bank vice president. “It’s a guaranteed way of investing, and I feel I’m giving at the same time.”  

Her donations to National Jewish Health total more than $20,000 since 2009. She is particularly drawn to the hospital’s mission to help patients of all ages, including children.

“I have always had a love for children and feel perhaps they may not receive the attention they should regarding pulmonary diseases,” Lois said.  

Ben was on oxygen full time and using inhalers in 2008 when his pulmonologist told him there was nothing more he could do to help.

So the Kasters decided to travel from their home in Monroe, Wisconsin, to Denver to visit National Jewish Health.

“We scheduled a solid week filled with appointments and consultations,” Lois remembers. “They were so kind to us.”

Ben, 81 at the time, spent nearly every waking moment at the clinic. He underwent a battery of tests including one for sleep apnea. She said the visit gave Ben satisfaction in knowing he had done all he could.

“He would seek out whatever he could to extend his life, so we could be able to do things together,” Lois said.

After Ben died, Lois learned she was not alone. Her family and friends offered support, and that made her feel fortunate. Lois, who at 87 remains active and volunteers in her community, is proud to donate to National Jewish Health.

“You understand there are people in much more serious condition than you are,” Lois said. “Ben provided for me, and now I want to pass it on to someone else.


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