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Loss leads to plans for a future

Man smiling, wearing a red tie, white collared shirt and gray suit jacketMany of us have a catalyst that drives what we are passionate about. For HopeHealth Board member Mark Tracy, personal loss has inspired him to help others gain access to important end-of-life care and grief support. Mark’s father died unexpectedly when he was just 9 years old. During his freshman year at Brown University, his mother was diagnosed with terminal colon cancer. “She was given five months to live,” he recalls. “We had a lot of conversations that were way beyond the maturity of my 19 years.” Marks’s mother had one wish: to spend her final days at home. “Fortunately, there was a hospice center nearby. They helped me fulfill her wish to die peacefully at home.”

After graduate school, Tracy knew it was time to get more involved with organizations he believed in. “I never forgot about the care my mother’s hospice team provided to her. HopeHealth felt like a natural place to start volunteering.” Joining the Board of Directors in 2012, he now serves as Secretary. He is continually impressed with the scope of HopeHealth’s care, particularly its support for those who are left behind. “HopeHealth’s grief support programs are transformational and all of them are supported by philanthropy so that they can be offered to families in our community, free of charge.”

Tracy was forced to consider death and loss at a much earlier age than most of his friends, which made it a natural next step to name HopeHealth as the beneficiary of a life insurance policy. He knows this kind of lasting gift is unusual for a man in his 40s, but he feels strongly that, “HopeHealth is changing the conversation about death. Leaving a planned gift to an organization that means a great deal to me feels like I am supporting those conversations. Just as I want to take care of my two children, I want to take care of HopeHealth for the next generation.”

As he looks toward the future, Tracy wants to be sure young people know how important HopeHealth is. “Most of my friends will soon be facing these conversations with their aging parents. I want to encourage them to give generously now, so that support is here for them when they need it.”

Want to learn more about planned giving? Call us at (401) 415-4708 or email

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