Ken and Lynn Keefe
Motivated by a life-saving experience at UT Southwestern Medical Center, Lynn Keefe and her husband Ken have decided to leave a significant portion of their estate to Southwestern Medical Foundation for medical research at UT Southwestern.
"I am sharing our story because we hope to have an impact on others," Lynn said. "I want our story to encourage others to think about those institutions that have positively affected their lives and to consider remembering those institutions in their estate plan."
The journey began when Lynn watched a television interview with Dr. Willis Maddrey, a UT Southwestern physician and expert in cutting-edge treatment of liver disease. Lynn had become infected with Hepatitis C from a blood transfusion during an emergency surgery. While the disease had been under control for many years, Lynn knew the time would come when treatment would be necessary. She reached out to Dr. Maddrey and soon felt that she was in the hands of one of the best physicians in the world
"His strong and steady bedside manner made me feel from the beginning that I was going to be fine," Lynn said. "He is a very warm and caring doctor who gave me a sense of confidence that the treatment he was prescribing would be effective."
A college track athlete, Lynn graduated from Texas A&M with a degree in zoology. She has worked all of her career in the medical field, first in research and then in sales, until her recent retirement.
"My clients were hospitals and outpatient clinics," she said. "I have worked with doctors my entire career, and there is a real difference in the quality of care at UT Southwestern. You don't feel like a number at UT Southwestern, and the doctors have exceptional listening and communication skills."
Lynn and Ken, who is a graduate of Kent State University, have been married 31 years. They met on a blind date and together have built a life and two successful careers in North Texas. When Ken's father died in 2000, they began to think about their own mortality and the ultimate disposition of their estate. Their initial challenge was to find a good estate-planning attorney to guide them. After that, it was a matter of deciding how much to leave to family members and the institutions that significantly impacted their lives. In addition to setting up scholarships at their alma maters, their charitable estate plan prominently remembers UT Southwestern.
"The care I received at UT Southwestern was second to none," Lynn said. "Ken and I wanted to give back to the place that saved my life and to honor Dr. Maddrey, whose research and care made it all possible."