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Briley W. Howell and his wife Janice have lived all over the world, thanks to his 27-year career as an Infantry Officer in the U.S. Army, rising to the rank of Infantry Colonel. This meant service during the Vietnam War, as well as posts in Belgium, Germany, and throughout the U.S. Since Mr. Howell retired in 1993, the couple has become committed to another fight: the war against pancreatic cancer.

Mr. Howell has generously supported Jefferson ever since his trusted surgeon assumed the helm of the Department of Surgery in 2005. Charles J. Yeo, MD, the Samuel D. Gross Professor and Chair of Surgery, performed Mr. Howell’s Whipple procedure at Johns Hopkins Hospital in 2003. Mr. Howell felt extremely fortunate that the pancreatic tumor was not malignant, which meant he would likely lead a long, productive life. Since that time, the Howells have been following the Jefferson research team led by Jonathan Brody, PhD, whom Dr. Yeo recruited from Johns Hopkins, and have been duly impressed by the aggressive and promising nature of his work.

“I believe that Dr. Yeo’s team is the best in the country, and if this research continues, it will improve early detection methods and increase survival rates,” says Mr. Howell. To make a gift with a lasting impact, in 2010 the Howells made a provision in their will to establish the Janice P. and Briley W. Howell Professorship in Pancreatic Cancer Research. “Endowed professorships are vital to our ability to recruit and retain distinguished faculty members,” says Dr. Yeo, “The sustained support of such a gift allows us to remain focused on our goals in the laboratory and with our patients.”

Since most patients with pancreatic cancer are given a prognosis of a mere six months to live, the Howells are eager to support Jefferson‘s research efforts. “I was fortunate that, thanks to Dr. Yeo’s care, I was able to go on with my life as planned,” says Mr. Howell, “and this is a truly wonderful gift. Anything we can do to share that gift with others is of great importance to us.”

Making a planned gift is an excellent way to support Jefferson while obtaining long-term financial benefits for you and your family. The most common form of a planned gift is a simple bequest through a will. Bequests of cash, securities, real property or other assets to Jefferson entitle one’s estate to a charitable deduction that can reduce or eliminate estate tax liability. In addition to bequests, individuals can support Jefferson through the creation of life income gifts, such as charitable trusts and annuities. Life income gifts serve a dual purpose: They provide philanthropic support for Jefferson while also providing both a charitable income tax deduction and an income stream to you and/or your loved ones. These gift vehicles can provide income benefits comparable to–or in some cases exceeding–those that might be earned in non-charitable giving vehicles. Many donors establish life income gifts with assets that are producing a very small amount of income, such as cash or appreciated stocks that do not earn dividends.

For more information about creative giving, please contact Lara Goldstein in the Jefferson Foundation at 215-955-8797 or lara.goldstein@jefferson.edu