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Stephen Spalding (left) with his aunt, former BWH trustee Joan T. Cave

Bequest honors former trustee

Over the course of her life, Joan T. Cave gave more than $1 million to Brigham and Women’s Hospital (BWH), where she served many years as a trustee and was a lifetime member of the Friends of Brigham and Women’s Hospital. In 1998, BWH presented Cave with its Heritage Society Award, which is given to individuals whose extraordinary gifts of time, talent, and financial support have significantly advanced the hospital’s mission.

Cave’s daughter, Joan Spalding recalls, “What stood out most in my mother was her generosity and interest in everyone’s life, and ability to help where she could. She was committed to furthering the knowledge base of medicine and increasing access to care.” Joan says a condolence letter following her mother’s death in 2012 described her best: “She was always a brighter-than-the-sun person, full of spunk and joy. She had a spirit that was all throttle, and she was infinitely kind.”

Stephen Spalding, Cave’s nephew, was inspired by his aunt’s generous spirit. Although he had no personal experience with the hospital, he named BWH as a beneficiary of his estate in honor of Cave. Following his death, the hospital received an estate gift of more than $500,000 to be used at the discretion of BWH President Betsy Nabel, MD. 

“Much like my mom, Stephen was generous throughout his lifetime with charitable organizations and with individuals,” Joan says. “Stephen and my mom were very close, and I know Stephen was grateful to have her in his life. It’s wonderful he chose to be so generous in her memory.”

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