Marion Vaclavik: Giving back, in life and beyond

March 17, 2022

Marion Vaclavik is an occasional Wellspring volunteer, regular monthly donor and a new planned giving donor. “I was always so impressed by those who could make significant gifts to Wellspring,” said Marion. “But then I realized that one doesn’t have to have great wealth to contribute and make a difference. So I make monthly gifts through the Roots of Renewal giving program and annual donations when I can, and I’ve been doing that for the past 15 years. It’s been an easy way for me to give back to an organization I believe in.”

Marion became a member of Wellspring at the suggestion of her health care team after being diagnosed with ovarian cancer. While attending programs such as Healing Journey, Chi Gong and Reiki, Marion made new friends and began feeling a sense of connectedness and that Wellspring was her place for calm and peace. “The programs were life-altering for me then, and they remain so for me today,” said Marion.

Marion’s need for support from Wellspring soon multiplied. While focusing on her own recovery, Marion’s mother’s health declined and she soon passed away, and her sister Judith needed increasing care after a long battle with brain cancer.

Soon both Judith and Marion were making regular visits to Wellspring Birmingham Gilgan House, where the music and drumming programs proved especially helpful. “We were always greeted by our first names, and we felt just like family there,” said Marion. “The programs were so beneficial both emotionally and physically, and I’m so very grateful for the special times Judith and I spent there together.”

Three years later Marion lost her sister, and when cancer recurred in her life, she fell back on past skills learned at Wellspring and engaged in the new programs being offered. She gave back by volunteering her time at the centre, both before and after her second diagnosis.

However, the recent pandemic made Marion think more and more about her legacy. She wanted to ensure she had a plan in place for her future, and she wanted to ensure that a significant portion of her estate would be bequeathed to Wellspring in her will. “I wanted to ensure that cancer survivors continue to have access to the same life-altering opportunities that both Judith and I did,” said Marion. “Wellspring has been a haven for me – a haven of hope, healing and encouragement during a time of turmoil. It’s a healthy and robust organization, but it needs our support. I’m proud to do what I can to help this dedicated organization change even more lives.

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