Betsy and Ralph Gordon have a list of reasons why they’ve included McLean in their estate plans. Throughout their marriage, they have watched elderly relatives and dear friends cope with Alzheimer’s, and they are optimistic about the breakthroughs being made in McLean’s geriatric research programs.
Professionally, Betsy has spent much of her life face-to-face with the damaging effects that mental illness has on children and families. As both a teacher and a 24-year veteran of her local school committee, she knows that stress, depression, and anxiety are ongoing concerns in schools. For years, she has volunteered for the foster-care system and has seen the heartbreaking removal of children from families plagued by mental illness and substance use. As a former legislative aide, she remembers constituents living with mental illness who did not have the resources to get desperately needed treatment.
The Gordons believe that, while there is much talk today of the need for increased mental health treatment and research, funding remains insufficient. “It is time to focus resources on these illnesses, and if anyone can use them wisely, it will be McLean,” says Betsy. “By giving to McLean through our estate, we will have a greater impact than anything we could afford while living. We love to think that our gift will play a part in relieving the devastation caused by dementia, mental illness and substance use disorders.”