What a Hit-and-Run in NYC Taught Me About My Legacy

Why should I care about my legacy plans?  I mean, I have nine lives, don’t I?

Or so I seem to think!

Mortality, what is that?

I am not going to die.

I won’t experience Alzheimer’s disease or any sort of dementia.

I have battled cancer.

I won!

What else could possibly take me away from my husband, Brad; my four kids; my three furry friends; and work I love and admire?

Dazed and Confused in NYC


Not long ago, I was in New York City for a Cato Institute event and to see a few clients. After my meetings ended and I had finished hearing Cato Institute’s CEO Peter Goettler give his closing remarks, I was crossing Broadway at West 57th. The light was red and the walk sign was white.

Totally safe time to cross the street or so I thought … when I was hit by a speeding car. A speeding car with no thought in the world other than to put the pedal to the metal.

Yes, it was a hit and run.

I went flying over the car, hit the car twice again and then ended up on my bottom in the middle of West 57th in New York City.

Dazed and confused.

It all seems like a blur and I know mostly what I know of the accident from the bystanders who stayed with me until the ambulance arrived.  I sustained some bruises, hurt pride and was sore as heck.

An Inch From Death

I spent a lot of time getting hospital tests as the tissue surrounding my heart was swollen. The doctors were worried about heart damage. Thankfully, I have none but I will need some minor surgery in the near future to replace my damaged chemo port once the swelling goes down.

The detective who watched the footage from the speed cameras told me the car that hit me was driving 77 mph and had I been one inch farther from where I was walking, I wouldn’t be alive.  It took a bit of time for that fact to sink in.


Talk about a wake-up call!

But this near-death accident made me stop and think! It made me stop and think about what I do for a living … focusing on helping you and me create our legacies.

Secure Your Legacy

None of us think our day to meet our creator is today … at least I didn’t on the day before I was hit by a speeding car.  None of us think we will be in an accident that puts us in a coma, or takes us away from our work, our husband, our four kids and our three furry friends.

But I learned on the day of that hit and run that we can’t ignore setting up our legacy plans. We can’t count on the fact that we will be here tomorrow, or also 100% cognitively able to make philanthropic decisions.

Had I hit my head harder than I did, I might not be writing this. I learned by a horrible accident and crime that life is valuable and we must ensure our values by setting up legacy plans today. Not tomorrow, not next week, but today.

Learn from me. Email, call or text me and let’s make sure your giving reflects your values so you can sleep easy knowing your legacy’s in place.


Open Your Fund


  • Stephanie G. Lips

    Stephanie Giovanetti Lips joined DonorsTrust in 2018 as a philanthropy advisor with a general focus on planned giving. Before joining DonorsTrust, Stephanie led the events department at Atlas Network, leading its international expansion to organize annual events in Asia, Africa, Europe and Latin America. She also took on major gift officer responsibilities and headed up its planned giving program. Stephanie has consulted on events and fundraising for organizations such as The American Spectator, the Future of Freedom Foundation, National Association of Chemical Distributors and Johnson and Johnson. Stephanie attended Marymount University and has a B.A. in English Literature. When not working for DonorsTrust or mentoring think tank leaders from within the Atlas Network or speaking on topics close to her heart, like planned giving, Stephanie loves listening to the giggles of her children and the panting of her dog, Scooby Doo.

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