Joan Glass

Dedicated to Children, Devoted to Service

Family ties at the root of donor’s giving

Even a brief conversation with Joan Glass reveals that family and service are deeply important parts of her life. She’s the proud grandmother of nine, a dedicated volunteer with the Girl Guides Canada, and recipient of that organization’s prestigious Gold Merit Award for life-long volunteerism. These values have guided her throughout her life, and inspired her to leave a gift in her will to BC Children’s Hospital Foundation.

Joan’s generosity to BC Children’s is intertwined with the lives of her grandchildren Nicole and Kieran Kapphahn. Twenty-two years ago, Joan’s daughter Nadine was just six months into her pregnancy when she went into labour. Nadine’s doctor quickly made the call to have her airlifted from Prince George to Vancouver so that her infant could receive specialized care. Baby Nicole was born 10 days later at 25 weeks, weighing just over two pounds. She was so tiny that she couldn’t breathe on her own and had to be tube-fed.

Looking at Nicole today, it’s hard to believe that the anthropology major at the University of Northern BC was once a fragile premature baby whose life hung in the balance. For mom Nadine, however, the memory of those early days is still fresh. Even now, two decades later, she and her husband are grateful for the support of the nurses and doctors at BC Children’s Hospital. They remember it as a home away from home during a time of turmoil.

The family’s experience repeated itself with the premature birth of Joan’s grandson, Kieran. Nadine’s second child entered the world at just 30 weeks. Named for the air ambulance paramedic who flew Nadine to BC Children’s during her first pregnancy, Kieran is now a six-foot-one basketball and volleyball player who shows no signs of his rocky start. According to Nadine, the first-year biochemistry student is interested “in all the sciences.”

Joan says her bequest to BC Children’s Hospital is her way of giving thanks for Nicole’s and Kieran’s lives. Throughout her eight decades of community service, she has striven to embody one of her favourite quotes, “Service is the rent we pay for living.” Thanks to her future gift, she knows that her legacy of service will continue long after she is gone. “This makes me feel good. You have no idea how good I feel,” she says.

TO LEARN MORE ABOUT HOW TO INCLUDE A GIFT to BC Children’s Hospital in your estate plans, please contact our Gift and Estate Planning team at 604.875.3679 or toll-free at 1.888.663.3033. You can also email us at or visit us at

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