Donor Stories


Elaine and the late Melvin Merians

As a breast cancer survivor, Elaine Merians, as well as other women in her family, has utilized the expert care available at the Abramson Cancer Center, including genetic counseling. In 2003, Elaine and her husband Melvin used a charitable remainder trust to support a research program within the Department of Radiation Oncology.

"I got to support the physician who treated me,” said Elaine, “and at the same time receive an income from the gift."

University of Pennsylvania alum, the late Melvin Merians was confident in Penn’s ability to manage his and Elaine’s charitable remainder trust. He was also enthusiastic to give back to the place that helped him discover his passions as a young man and helped his wife beat breast cancer later in life.

"Penn has a great charitable remainder trust program," Melvin said. "It's well-managed, easy to use, and a solid way to give. You not only get an income, but you support a very important cause."