Richard Ellis and Cathy Payne met on the first day of high school and they immediately became friends.  Their friendship continued throughout university, as they grew into adulthood and began their careers, up until her passing in 2004 at the young age of 41.

News of Cathy’s diagnosis came as a shock to Richard because he didn’t realize that someone in her late 30’s could be affected by ALS. Richard felt privileged to be part of her inner circle and to be part of her support team – participating in fundraising efforts, lending help when it was needed and most importantly, being able to spend time with her.

He also experienced the challenges that people and families living with ALS face on a daily basis.

“I know how challenging it is to care for a loved one living with ALS, and I saw first-hand the invaluable support that ALS Canada and its staff provide. Whatever we needed—information, counseling, equipment to keep Cathy mobile or make her home more accessible —they were there.”

After witnessing Cathy’s struggle with the disease and its impact on her and those closest to her, Richard felt moved to leave a donation that would directly help those facing an ALS diagnosis, as well as the research needed for a future without the disease. Leaving a gift in his will was a way for Richard to celebrate the life and memory of his friend.

Legacy giving is an important investment and a demonstration of your strong commitment to a cause that means a lot to you. These types of gifts, including bequests, gifts of life insurance, stocks or securities, and others, have a lasting impact and can ensure that your loved ones are provided for in the future, while allowing you to make a meaningful contribution to a charity and cause that matters to you.

May is “Leave a Legacy” month and Richard recently spoke with Paul Nazareth, Vice President of Education and Development at the Canadian Association of Gift Planners about legacy giving. Watch the video to learn about the head and the heart of this type of giving; and how to start the conversation to create a legacy and make a meaningful impact for the ALS community.



Posted in: Legacy Giving