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David Higgins has come a long way. He grew up in and out of hospitals, shadowing doctors and nurses in the Texas Medical Center as they cared for his ailing father. "My dad died when I was 12...And it has been one thing after another," explained Higgins. "For much of my life, I have witnessed a lot of suffering."
The medical bills from his father's illnesses left the family in financial straits, and when Higgins needed medical attention as a child, his family sought indigent care from the county hospital. Now 35 and a Financial Advisor for Northwestern Mutual, Higgins is dedicated to leveraging his resources to help those in need.
"I was the one that was receiving the care, and now I want to be the one to help and make an impact on the lives of others," Higgins said. "And there is no better place to make a difference in the community than UTHealth."
Higgins has stepped forward to make a difference at UTHealth in a number of ways. He recently made an extraordinary $1M planned gift commitment benefitting Pediatric Cancer Research at the UTHealth Medical School, making him a member of the Heritage Society, a giving society that recognizes donors who make gifts through their estate plans to the university. "I have come full circle-from my family not having anything to now having the resources to make meaningful contributions, whether it is through personal giving, soliciting contributions or raising awareness," he said.
While estate planning is fairly uncommon for someone as young as Higgins, he is passionate about shielding others from the burdens he endured as a child and sees no need to wait to make an impact. "With a long-term vision, planned gifts are the best way to give right now and maximize impact. It is a way to leverage your dollars today for something greater tomorrow," he said.
In addition to his charitable giving, Higgins has also taken an active role in the university by joining the Luminaries, a volunteer leadership council of young professionals committed to increasing public awareness and philanthropic support of UTHealth amongst other young leaders in the community.
"I want everyone to know about UTHealth," stated Higgins. "Remarkable things come out of here-education, research and patient care all happen here. We could go to UTHealth every day for two years and still not see everything-there is that much going on. That is remarkable."