Claire Theobald’s journey with breast cancer has taught her to cherish every small, beautiful moment of life.
It has also inspired her to include Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center (MSK) in her estate planning by making a bequest to MSK in her will. Her hope, she explains, is to help other people facing breast cancer find the treatment options they need and get a second chance at life
Despite the challenges of being a small-business owner and single mother of twins, Claire, 56, says that it’s important to her to give back. “I want my legacy to be about saving lives,” she says.
A Shocking Diagnosis
Claire’s twins were 11 years old and her business — a children’s accessories company — was taking off when her yearly mammogram in 2012 revealed four tumors in her breasts.
She was devastated, angry, and scared.
“That winter was the lowest point of my life,” she says. “My first question was whether I’d live to see my kids graduate from middle school.” She didn’t know how she’d have the time or energy to endure cancer treatment.
Claire called MSK for a consultation and began treatment soon after. “MSK’s doctors, nurses, and staff didn’t waste any time,” she says.
When Claire had an allergic reaction to one of her medications, her doctors promptly identified the problem and provided three alternative treatment options. “I was awed by their expertise as well as their warmth and kindness,” she says. “It was so clear to me that I was in the place with the best care.”
Giving Back for the Future
Today, Claire is cancer free. In May, she watched her son, Alex, graduate from college, and her daughter, Juliane, is set to graduate in 2024.
Claire now lives in Charleston, South Carolina, and her business, Beatrix New York, sells contemporary kids gear worldwide.
She is proud to support cancer research at MSK. Making a bequest is easy, she explains. She contacted the Office of Gift Planning, which guided her through the process step-by-step.
“By including MSK in my estate plans, I am helping ensure that people with cancer around the world will have access to lifesaving treatments for years to come,” she says.