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Peter and Fran Seidenberg

Peter and Fran Seidenberg

Peter and Fran value good eyesight. Fran is a successful water color painter, and Peter is a competitive sailor. "I'm quite successful as a sailor, and I have great fun doing it. I'm extremely happy that Dr. Gragoudas saved my eye because it's imperative to have good eyesight for sailing. You need to be able to make out a buoy in the distance to sail around it. You also want to have good peripheral vision so you see who is sailing around you. I am extremely happy."

When your livelihood and quality of life relies on sight, cancer of the eye is a serious issue. Peter had been blessed with good eyesight all his life. For 60 years, Peter didn't require glasses for reading or distance vision. "A design engineer all my life, I had to make drawings on paper and I didn't need any glasses." After age 60, Peter noticed his eyes were not functioning as well when he was reading. He went to an ophthalmologist who discovered a suspicious lesion in the back of his retina. That was 1997, and Peter was referred to Dr. Evangelos Gragoudas at Mass. Eye and Ear.

Dr. Gragoudas confirmed that the suspicious lesion was cancerous, but it appeared manageable and Dr. Gragoudas decided to monitor it closely. In 2004, when it started to grow, Dr. Gragoudas successfully treated the melanoma. "I'm so grateful that Dr. Gragoudas saved my eye, because in the past this kind of thing would have resulted in the loss of my eye," said Peter, who was fortunate that the melanoma was quite far away from the optical nerve and his vision was not affected. "At times when I have my eyes checked, I've had better vision in the left eye where the melanoma was. I can only praise Dr. Gragoudas and Mass. Eye and Ear for the professionalism and the quality of care," says a very grateful Peter. "I know Dr. Gragoudas has patients from all over the world. I consider myself very lucky to be under his care."

When, Peter and his wife, Fran, began thinking about estate planning, the suggestion was made to consider a Charitable Remainder Unitrust (CRUT). We did like the idea of receiving income during our lifetime and being able to give back to society."

Many planned gift vehicles including annuities and trusts, allow you to receive an income stream during your lifetime and the qualified charity you designate receives the remainder value when the annuity or trust terminates. Donors are often entitle to a charitable deduction at the time the annuity or trust is established.

"It's wonderful to be able to help people by making this kind of gift," says Peter. "There's nothing better than to have eyesight, period, and good eyesight at that. You can't really put a figure on saving your vision, so we gladly agreed to this trust and we're happy to contribute to research that we hope will result in even better treatments and cures."


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