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Susan Blash Weiss and Dr. Gary Weiss
THE BLASH AND WEISS FAMILIES MAKE GIFTS AND JOIN THE FIGHT TO CURE DIABETES
Susan and Gary are proud to be following in the path of Susan's parents' philanthropy. They created a charitable gift annuity for the benefit of the Diabetes Research Institute (DRI) and have been inducted into the DRI Foundation’s Heritage Society.
Susan is a graduate of St. Joseph's University and is now retired from Picard Chemical Company, the family business established by her father. Gary graduated from Temple University and is a pathologist with a practice in Jupiter. They have five children and four grandchildren. Susan is an avid gardener with landscape design experience. Her favorite hobby is being the best grandmother she can, and she enjoys globe-trotting with her grandchildren. When time permits Gary loves to play golf, and Florida is the perfect place for it.
Susan is now also facing her greatest challenge, after being diagnosed with type 1 diabetes.
“I never suspected that I would get diabetes in my 50s. It was devastating,” said Susan, who is a patient of Dr. Luigi Meneghini at the DRI. “The biggest factor is psychological—always wondering if I’m going to go blind, if my kidneys will stop, if my feet are going to hurt. It can take the laugh out of your life if you let it. So, I try to stay in control. I gave up drinking, I gave up smoking, and I just continue on.”
Susan’s late parents, Martha and Thomas Blash, shared a love that was enriched by more than 50 years of marriage. They knew the joy of children, grandchildren, and great grandchildren and lived long, fulfilling lives.
All too well, they also knew the lifelong, devastating effects of diabetes. Their children knew the fear of waking up in the middle of the night to find their father passed out on the floor due to a hypoglycemic reaction, and they knew the drill of rushing to mix the orange juice with sugar to stabilize his insulin peak. The family learned to always be on guard. Life was always tied to the numbers.
Despite Tom’s diabetes, which he had lived with since the age of nine, the Blashes believed that they were blessed and felt it was their moral obligation to give something back. They set up a charitable remainder trust, designating the Diabetes Research Institute as one of the beneficiaries.
“My husband has recently set up a charitable trust for your wonderful cause,” Martha wrote in a letter to the DRI Foundation, dated 1991. “It was of great satisfaction to be able to do that.”
For their generous gift, the first floor Clinical Offices in the Eleanor and Joseph Kosow Diabetes Treatment Center was named in honor of this truly special couple.
Susan, the couple’s eldest child, noted, “My father was fascinated with islet cell transplantation. Coming from a background of science, he was very interested in the technology. He realized a cure wasn’t going to be in his lifetime, but his gift would make a difference for the little children.”
The DRI and Foundation are grateful for the generous support of the Blash and Weiss families, who chose to make the gift of a lifetime and perpetuate their philanthropic goals for all those affected by diabetes.
Click here for more information on charitable gift annuities.
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