Mia Was a Happy Teen. Then She Lost Her Smile.

Mia GasperiniIt happens just like that. And when it happens, thanks to generous people like you, Baystate Children’s Hospital is here.

For most children, life is occasionally interrupted by illness.

For a child with significant health challenges, it’s the other way around.

At age 14, Mia Gasperini knew something was wrong when she started having trouble doing things most teens do every day, like brushing her hair.

Then, one day, says Mia, “I lost my smile.”

“I was laughing at a joke with a friend when I saw my face in a mirror and it didn’t look like I was laughing,” explains Mia. “Instead, my mouth drooped down and I looked like I was snarling.”

Mia’s pediatrician referred her to Baystate Children’s Hospital. Mia was diagnosed with Myasthenia Gravis, an incurable and potentially lifethreatening autoimmune disorder that attacks the place where nerves and muscles meet.

The Road to Recovery

Mia GasperiniAfter diagnosis, Mia was admitted to Baystate Children’s Hospital where doctors worked to get her condition under control with special medication and surgery. Mia now also receives a monthly infusion at the Baystate Children’s Hospital Pediatric Procedure Unit to help manage her symptoms. “My infusions take anywhere from four to six hours,” says Mia. “Even though I’m there for a while, it’s an unbelievable experience because the nurses are phenomenal, like family.”

Today, with the help of Baystate Children’s Hospital, Mia’s long-term prognosis looks good. She even made her high school volleyball team, something she never thought she could do again. She is also looking at colleges to earn a nursing degree so she can give back the same loving, quality care she received.

You can help make kids with illness smile again with thoughtful gifts that support life-changing and lifesaving care. To learn how you can make a difference for our youngest patients now and into the future, contact Kylie Johnson at 413-794-7789 or kylie.johnson@baystatehealth.org.

For kids like Mia who spent hours at a time receiving infusions; for chronically ill children who need special treatments or therapies; and for those kids who may just once undergo a diagnostic test or minor surgical procedure, or receive IV hydration during flu season — Baystate Children’s Hospital is building a new, state-of-the-art Pediatric Procedures and Infusion Unit designed especially for our youngest patients.

To learn more about opportunities to support this project or to ensure a higher state of caring for children and families well into the future, please contact Kylie Johnson at 413-794-7789 or kylie.johnson@baystatehealth.org.

A charitable bequest is one or two sentences in your will or living trust that leave to Baystate Health Foundation a specific item, an amount of money, a gift contingent upon certain events or a percentage of your estate.

an individual or organization designated to receive benefits or funds under a will or other contract, such as an insurance policy, trust or retirement plan

"I, [name], of [city, state, ZIP], give, devise and bequeath to Baystate Health Foundation [written amount or percentage of the estate or description of property] for its unrestricted use and purpose."

able to be changed or cancelled

A revocable living trust is set up during your lifetime and can be revoked at any time before death. They allow assets held in the trust to pass directly to beneficiaries without probate court proceedings and can also reduce federal estate taxes.

cannot be changed or cancelled

tax on gifts generally paid by the person making the gift rather than the recipient

the original value of an asset, such as stock, before its appreciation or depreciation

the growth in value of an asset like stock or real estate since the original purchase

the price a willing buyer and willing seller can agree on

The person receiving the gift annuity payments.

the part of an estate left after debts, taxes and specific bequests have been paid

a written and properly witnessed legal change to a will

the person named in a will to manage the estate, collect the property, pay any debt, and distribute property according to the will

A donor advised fund is an account that you set up but which is managed by a nonprofit organization. You contribute to the account, which grows tax-free. You can recommend how much (and how often) you want to distribute money from that fund to Baystate Health or other charities. You cannot direct the gifts.

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Securities, real estate, or any other property having a fair market value greater than its original purchase price.

Real estate can be a personal residence, vacation home, timeshare property, farm, commercial property or undeveloped land.

A charitable remainder trust provides you or other named individuals income each year for life or a period not exceeding 20 years from assets you give to the trust you create.

You give assets to a trust that pays our organization set payments for a number of years, which you choose. The longer the length of time, the better the gift tax savings to you. When the term is up, the remaining trust assets go to you, your family or other beneficiaries you select. This is an excellent way to transfer property to family members at a minimal cost.

You fund this type of trust with cash or appreciated assets—and receive an immediate federal income tax charitable deduction. You can also make additional gifts; each one also qualifies for a tax deduction. The trust pays you, each year, a variable amount based on a fixed percentage of the fair market value of the trust assets. When the trust terminates, the remaining principal goes to Baystate Health as a lump sum.

You fund this trust with cash or appreciated assets—and receive an immediate federal income tax charitable deduction. Each year the trust pays you or another named individual the same dollar amount you choose at the start. When the trust terminates, the remaining principal goes to Baystate Health as a lump sum.

A beneficiary designation clearly identifies how specific assets will be distributed after your death.

A charitable gift annuity involves a simple contract between you and Baystate Health where you agree to make a gift to Baystate Health and we, in return, agree to pay you (and someone else, if you choose) a fixed amount each year for the rest of your life.

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