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A Legacy Of Giving – Sylvia Shelton’s Story

October 4, 2021

Sylvia Shelton’s life was defined by her generous spirit and now that legacy of giving continues with a gift in her will to BC Cancer Foundation.

A photo of Sylvia Shelton

Sylvia Shelton was the hardest working person her family knew.

Born and raised in East Vancouver, Sylvia was passionately dedicated to her community, her work, as well as her family and loved ones.

A lawyer since 1976, Sylvia always talked about retiring, but she never did. She was there for her community, often offering a lot of legal work pro-bono for those in need. Some clients even gave her artwork as payment, which she happily accepted.

Causes that impacted her community were close to her heart, so she was often found hosting her own bottle drive fundraisers in the neighbourhood.

This was the essence of who Sylvia was.

In 2019, at the age of 69, Sylvia passed away from ovarian cancer. Still as dedicated to her community as ever, she worked up until her final days.

Her life was defined by her generous spirit and now that legacy of giving continues with a gift in her will to BC Cancer Foundation.

During her career, Sylvia assisted clients in planning legacy gifts. She also acted as an estate lawyer, helping family and friends of donors in carrying out their loved ones’ final charitable wishes.

Having witnessed the innovations and expertise at BC Cancer first-hand, she too was inspired to give back.

“She knew she wouldn’t benefit from this donation herself, but others will and this was to help those who would come after her,” says Mike Shelton, Sylvia’s nephew.

Sylvia’s family has generously committed a portion of her Estate to the BC Cancer Foundation, offering to help match donations dollar-for-dollar to advance genomics research.

“Sylvia knew she had everything she needed, she worked so hard but she was all about the simple things,” says Mike. “She was always aware that many people weren’t in her position, and she felt she had a personal responsibility to give back, which she was happy to do.”

October 3rd to 9th, 2021, is Make-a-Will Week in British Columbia. Cancer research can take years of painstaking, diligent work – our researchers need to know their studies will continue to be funded for as long as it takes to find the next breakthrough. And that’s where you can help – by remembering the BC Cancer Foundation in your will.

Learn more about leaving a gift in your will, or other types of planned gifts such as Endowment funds, RRSPs, RRIFs, or gifts of life insurance.