Pictured: Brigham Legacy Society members Trudi and Neil Epstein
“The emotional support and optimism of the staff, doctors, nurses, and technicians of my cancer care team was unmatched,” Trudi says. “They really got me through a devastating diagnosis.”
When Trudi Epstein was treated at Brigham and Women’s Hospital for breast cancer in 2006, she knew she had found an exceptional team of caregivers.
Five years later, Trudi received another devastating blow when she was diagnosed with uterine cancer. For a second time, she worked with a multidisciplinary cancer team at the Brigham and was deeply impressed with the way staff coordinated her care across specialties, and truly worked with her. Trudi cites the emotional support from staff in helping her keep a positive attitude throughout, and wished the culture of inclusion was the standard of care across all hospitals.
During this time she met her radiation oncologist, the late Larissa Lee, MD—a luminary in the field of gynecologic oncology and director of the Brigham’s Gynecologic Radiation Oncology Service. Lee’s extensive research included investigations into brachytherapy for uterine cancer, a type of internal radiation delivered directly to the tumor area.
With both cancers in remission, and thrilled with her care at the Brigham, Trudi and her husband, Neil, decided to establish a charitable gift annuity (CGA) in 2018. Their CGA provides them with a fixed income stream for life and a charitable income tax deduction, while ultimately funding gynecologic oncology research at the Brigham. With this generous gift, the Epsteins were welcomed into The Brigham Legacy Society, which celebrates individuals dedicated to supporting the future of medicine.
When Lee died in 2021, the news was heart-wrenching for the Epsteins, who had developed a close connection with the beloved clinician.
“When I heard Dr. Lee had passed, it was like losing a family member or friend,” Trudi says. “She was very gentle, beautiful, and she was there for me the whole time, holding my hand and doing amazing research.”
Trudi and Neil were inspired to continue aiding the great work of Lee’s team. Most recently, the couple took their philanthropy a step further and included the Brigham in their estate plans, which will continue supporting research and technological breakthroughs in cancer care.
“We believe philanthropy is critical to supporting the Brigham,” Neil says. “This support helps in continuing research, attracting and keeping the best doctors, and providing extraordinary patient care.”