Bush Family w Sheldon

The year was 1968, and Donnie Bush found himself in a rural doctor’s office facing a Type 1 diabetes diagnosis. This was still a daunting diagnosis at the time: while treatment options were improving, disposable syringes were not yet widely available.

“Diabetes research was still in such early stages when I was first diagnosed,” said Donnie Bush. “Insulin had only been around for about 40 years, and single-use syringes were just becoming popular in treatment plans for patients.”

According to a CDC study, the annual mortality rate for diabetes between 1968-1969 was still 2.69 per million. It would later decrease to a rate of 1.05 per million in 2008-2009.

In 1975, Donnie Bush and his wife Delores “DeDee” Bush, moved to Birmingham for DeDee to pursue her degrees in both medical technology as well as computer and informational sciences from UAB. While in Birmingham, Donnie Bush visited UAB’s brand new Diabetes Research and Education Hospital, which was located in the now Buris R. Boshell Diabetes Building.

At the Diabetes Research and Education Hospital, Donnie Bush learned from diabetes specialists how to best manage his disease through several educational opportunities offered to him. Learning how to manage diabetes in a healthy, doable way was a new experience for Donnie Bush.

“All of the information and care I received was totally different than anything I had ever experienced before. I was so grateful to the entire medical center and their holistic treatment of diabetes,” said Donnie Bush.

Donnie and DeDee Bush 1Donnie and DeDee Bush point to their experience with UAB’s diabetes care as the starting point for their future decision to give a legacy gift to the UAB Comprehensive Diabetes Center. Later, Donnie Bush would also receive a bypass surgery at UAB.

After many years of working 10-12 hour days, Donnie and DeDee Bush decided to retire. In their retirement, they became inspired to give back to UAB. Their positive clinical and academic experiences, paired with an unexpected inheritance from her grandfather, energized DeDee Bush, who knew that she wanted to do something special with the funds she received.

So, Donnie and DeDee Bush met with UAB Advancement and settled on a legacy gift to the UAB Comprehensive Diabetes Center (UCDC), which is a university-wide interdisciplinary research center.

In fact, their legacy gift will fund an endowment that is named after DeDee Bush’s grandfather: William Arthur Duncan. The endowment will support the UCDC’s mission to perform cutting-edge research, train future clinicians and researchers, and develop novel treatment approaches.

A legacy gift is a donation that is often earmarked within a will or other estate plans. Legacy gifts can be a dollar amount, an item of value, or even a percentage of assets. For Donnie and DeDee Bush, they knew this was the route they wanted to go.

“A legacy gift is the perfect way to have your cake and eat it too,” said DeDee Bush. “It means that you do not have to worry about sacrificing your current financial situation while also ensuring that you still have an impact on the causes that are important to you.”

Donnie and DeDee Bush, now settled in Andalusia, Alabama on 40+ acres of farmland, are loving retired life with their sweet dog, who they think might be a mix between a yorkie and a schnauzer. Sheldon loves to ride with Donnie Bush on basically anything that moves, including the farm tractor. The family of three takes trips to the lake and enjoys other travel as well as spending time with their family and friends.

“You do not have to be wealthy to give, especially to UAB,” said DeDee Bush. “With UAB, you know that every penny you give will be maximally and wisely used for your cause– for us, that was diabetes research and the search for a curative therapy.”

Planned giving can make a powerful and lasting difference to the UAB programs that mean the most to you. If you would like to speak to a planned giving expert and explore your options, call 205-996-7533 or email //plannedgiving@uab.edu">plannedgiving@uab.edu.