Donor Spotlight: Croal Family Honors their Daughter's Care

Mary Cornelia Bradley Society

Donor Spotlight: Croal Family Honors their Daughter's Care

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Legacy Gifts to American Family Children's Hospital

Mary Cornelia Bradley Donor Society

Croal FamilyFor some families, the easiest time to make a major charitable gift is after the donor passes away. Consider how Ann and George Croal have planned to leave a legacy to honor their daughter.

Back in 1975, Ann was convinced that her then-4-year old daughter, Deirdre, had cystic fibrosis (CF).

“She had all the signs – salty perspiration, wheezing, a constant runny nose and cough, and metabolism problems,” Ann says. “One day, I just marched Deirdre into the old UW Hospital and insisted that they give her a chloride sweat test.”

When the results confirmed Deirdre had cystic fibrosis, Dr. Charles Lobeck looked at Ann and said, “You knew all along, didn’t you?”

At the time, children with CF typically did not survive past age 10. The tears flowed freely, as Ann and her husband George tried to accept the unsettling news.

More than three decades later, Deirdre March is now a petite 40-year-old woman who just recently completed her nursing degree and now works as a registered nurse at Waunakee Manor. Her parents look back on the countless days and nights Deirdre has spent at UW Hospital and Clinics.

“Deirdre was raised by the doctors, nurses and respiratory therapists at UW,” says Ann. “We are so grateful for her care, so when the new American Family Children’s Hospital was going up, we decided to make a gift in Deirdre’s name.”

In addition to a cash gift, the Croals also opted for a planned gift known as a second-to-die life insurance policy that pays out only after both spouses have passed away.

“For people who are not independently wealthy, the life insurance policy is just one way to support the children’s hospital without touching your estate,” says George, a retired Madison police detective and practicing financial planner. “There are also other types of gift planning such as simple bequests, charitable trusts and annuities. The Children’s Hospital or any financial planner can provide more information.”

As they think back on their 36-year journey of care, the Croals can only marvel at how far things have come since their daughter’s diagnosis.

“The strides in research and treatment for CF are truly phenomenal,” Ann says. “Nothing proves this more than having Deirdre with us after all these years. We also are thrilled that our family’s legacy will live on at the hospital with our planned gift.”