Grateful for the extraordinary care they have received at Hospital for Special Surgery, Maria and Morris Coppersmith have chosen to name the Hospital in their wills.
"My wife and I want to leave our estate to organizations that have made an impact on our lives, such as HSS, especially because we don't have any children," says Mr. Coppersmith.
In 2002, Mrs. Coppersmith was diagnosed with a rare but debilitating condition that caused numbness in her legs and arms. After undergoing a series of unsuccessful treatments at another hospital, she was referred to Michael Lockshin, MD, a rheumatology specialist at HSS with a keen interest in Mrs. Coppersmith's condition. Dr. Lockshin would eventually become Mrs. Coppersmith's primary care physician. In 2005, he enrolled her in a clinical trial measuring the success of a new therapy for her illness.
"Dr. Lockshin is one of only a few physicians who is familiar with Maria's condition," Mr. Coppersmith said. "Under his care, she has found both comfort and relief."
Born in Colombia, Mrs. Coppersmith immigrated to New York nearly 44 years ago, where she pursued a career in the textile industry. She met Mr. Coppersmith when they lived in the same development in the Bronx, the borough in which he was born and raised. A graduate of Stuyvesant High School and City College of New York, Mr. Coppersmith worked as a mechanical engineer for R. Hoe and Co., where he designed printing press machinery for the New York Times and color presses for Conde Nast. He joined the engineering department at Con Edison in 1971 and remained there until his retirement in 1991. Today, the couple shares a passion for camping in places such as Canada, Mexico, and California.
The Coppersmith's thoughtful bequest to HSS will serve as an important source of support for future basic science and clinical investigations into rheumatic diseases undertaken by Dr. Lockshin and his colleagues. "I am confident that every penny HSS receives from us will be used in accordance with our wishes," Mr. Coppersmith remarked.