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Donor Story

Bequest Continues Family’s Service Tradition

Brian Cashin’s bequest to Mass General to support the MGH Fund will help improve health care for generations to come.

Bequest Continues Family’s Service Tradition

Brian Cashin’s family includes four New York City firefighters, a nun and a nurse. Service to others is in his blood.

Following a career as an executive with J.P. Morgan Chase and Fidelity Investments, Brian now answers the call to serve as a volunteer firefighter and emergency medical technician in Cumberland, Maine, and an advocate for access to medicine in the state’s rural communities.

“I chose Mass General because it is one of the world’s largest medical research institutions with a clear purpose and mission.”

He also gives back to Massachusetts General Hospital through his donor advised fund (DAF). From it, he directs charitable gifts to the MGH Fund each year, and he’ll leave the entire DAF as a bequest to Mass General too.

“I chose Mass General because it is one of the world’s largest medical research institutions with a clear purpose and mission,” Brian says. It’s also home to his esteemed physicians.

Grateful for Personal, Proactive Care

Twenty years ago, Brian was diagnosed with stage III melanoma, a serious condition in which skin cancer has spread to nearby lymph nodes, threatening the body’s immune system. He sought the best caregivers at Mass General.

“I was overwhelmingly impressed with the proactive and personally involved care from everyone on my health care team” Brian says. In particular, he cites his primary care doctor, William Kormos, MD, and his cardiologist, Joseph Garasic, MD, for ongoing excellent care. Now, in the COVID-19 environment, he sees his doctors both at the hospital and on virtual visits.

Bequest Serves Mass General Community

In appreciation, Brian gives back with his philanthropy. He started a DAF at Fidelity in 1999 to manage his future charitable gifts.

He gets a charitable tax deduction for the contributions he makes to his DAF. From there, he disperses his gifts each year to the MGH Fund and his other favorite charitable organizations.

Brian especially likes his DAF’s online giving process. It’s easy to use and it verifies that the organizations he supports are approved non-profit entities.

As his relationship with Mass General deepened, Brian decided to make the hospital sole beneficiary of his DAF’s remaining value. Like his annual gifts, this bequest to Mass General is unrestricted. “My contributions to the MGH Fund address the hospital’s highest priorities of the day,” he says.

Continuing Education from Visionaries

Brian informed the Mass General Office of Planned Giving of his bequest and joined the Phillips Society, which recognizes those who include Mass General in their estate plans. Together, Brian and Mary attend Mass General community events to stay connected.

Brian Cashin
Brian Cashin

Presentations from Mass General’s most visionary minds in medicine are a form of “continuing education,” Brian adds. He takes notes and brings home what he learns.

A Volunteer for Public Health

Brian’s sister, Mary Ann, is a nun and his sister, Delia, was a nurse. His three brothers, Terry, Jimmy and Tommy, served on the New York City Fire Department where their father, John Cashin, was Battalion Chief.

Brian and his identical twin brother, John, chose a career in the private sector. After Brian retired in 2013, and moved to Cumberland with his wife, Mary, he turned attention to public service.

He volunteered to manage the construction of the town’s new fire station and lobbied for space to deliver preventative health care, like flu shots and blood pressure checks, to the community. Today, Cumberland’s medical triage room is a prototype for public health efforts to reduce emergency room visits.

Brian’s contributions to his community’s public health and his bequest to Mass General reflect his family’s tradition of service to others.

Create a legacy — Complement your service to community with a bequest to Mass General. Contact the Office of Planned Giving at (617) 643-2220 or

Mark Dantos
January 12, 2021