Skip to main content

Land of Opportunity

A gift of property supports the hospital’s Genomes for Kids clinical trial.

By Kerry Healy

Tony and Claire Karnas’ gift of property is helping St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital discover the origins of childhood cancer and seek new cures through their support of a clinical trial called Genomes for Kids.

Tony, a retired Naval officer, and Claire, a retired teacher, acquired land near Williamsburg, Virginia, to build a retirement home and to be near their daughter.

“We thought our daughter would settle in the area, and it seemed like a good idea to retire there. But after college, her plans changed,” Tony says.

Meanwhile, the couple chose another retirement location, and the question of what to do with the Virginia property became a dilemma. Approximately 10 years earlier, the couple had begun supporting St. Jude.

“Cancer is a very big concern for our family,” Claire says. “My grandmother and mother had cancer. I have two daughters and seven grandchildren, and four of my grand-daughters have cancer on both sides of their family. The prospect of them inheriting the disease is very concerning.”

Proceeds from the gift of land are helping to support the St. Jude Genomes for Kids clinical trial, and the couple will get a tax deduction for the land’s fair market value.

“The concept of donating the land to St. Jude seemed like a wonderful solution,” Tony says. Claire adds that it was done “in gratitude for the healthy children in our lives.”

The family has visited St. Jude on several occasions.

“We have seen how the children are cared for and toured the research facilities,” Claire says. “They think of everything, from school to helping siblings. St. Jude is always thinking and moving forward.”

The proceeds from Tony and Claire’s property are creating opportunities for children battling cancer and other life-threatening diseases by supporting the hospital’s research.

“We are very thankful and humbled that we are able to help St. Jude further its lifesaving mission,” Claire says.

To make a gift of property or other assets to St. Jude, call (800) 910-3188 or email

Donate Now Subscribe to Promise

More articles from this issue