Marie DeStefano - Stroke Survivor and American Heart Association Supporter

Updated:Apr 2,2014
During a routine examination, Marie DeStefano received some bad news - she had heart disease. Later, after she had suffered a stroke and had open-heart surgery, she decided to do something to help others. She became a champion in the fight against heart disease - our nation's  No. 1 killer.
Maria DeStefano
Marie, who's retired and lives in Lakewood, N.J., recently funded an American Heart Association charitable gift annuity. A charitable gift annuity is a contract between you and the American Heart Association in which you exchange a gift of cash or securities for a fixed income each year. In return for Marie's thoughtful gift, she receives generous payments for the rest of her life no matter how long that may be and regardless of how the market changes. She's also entitled to a charitable deduction for a portion of her gift. More than half of the payments she will receive will be tax-free during her life expectancy.

"The American Heart Association pays me much more than my bank CD, and the rate is fixed for the rest of my life," DeStefano said. "I'm not wealthy, but when I die, I'm leaving money to the American Heart Association. They've done wonderful things. I wish I could do more."