Gift will help future kidney transplant patients

Greg VranicarAnderson Xavier Vranicar, born Oct. 10, 2017, is the newest branch of a family rooted in kindness, generosity and a thirst for knowledge. His great grandparents cultivated these values, and his doting grandfather Greg nurtured them into a Vranicar family tradition.

Growing up the eldest son in a large Catholic family, Greg was close to his grandparents — whose last name of Anderson is now carried by his grandson. He learned to practice compassion and to seek education, principles that became twin pillars of his life. He also learned about philanthropy.

"Can you believe my grandfather and I talked about planned gifts when I was in the first grade?" he asks.

Some might call that foreshadowing.

From profit to nonprofit

After college, law school and service as a captain in the Air Force, Greg started a successful legal career. He married his wife, Marilyn, in 1982, and together they raised two sons, Mark and David, both of whom majored in philosophy and lived abroad — reflecting the Vranicar family's curiosity about the world.

After more than 15 years practicing law as a corporate attorney, Greg decided to put his talents to use in the nonprofit sector.

"I like to say I went from greed to good," he says with a laugh.

He was the first development director at Midwest Christian Counseling Center, planned giving director at the Archdiocese of Kansas City in Kansas and private trust officer at Bank of America. In 2002, he was named planned giving director at the Catholic Diocese of Kansas City-St. Joseph.

Faced with a serious health issue in his 30s and 40s, Greg was put on a medication that included kidney problems as a possible side effect. The medication, together with a rare childhood kidney infection, did affect his kidneys. For several years, Greg worked with Arnold Chonko, M.D., a nephrologist with The University of Kansas Health System, to monitor what had become a chronic condition.

"In late 2012, Dr. Chonko recommended a kidney transplant," Greg says.

And in April 2013, he received a lifesaving kidney from his youngest brother, Jim.

"If you have a serious health issue, The University of Kansas Health System is the place to be," Greg says. "The professionals there combine expertise and training with compassion and human care."

A good example

As he approached retirement from the diocese in 2017, Greg decided to put his money where his heart is. Relying on the advice he gave over the years to potential donors, he thought about how and who he wanted his legacy to help in the future. He also made sure each of his gifts had a specific purpose and a designated honoree.

With first hand knowledge of the health system's kidney transplant program, he made a generous gift designation from an IRA to the Patients in Need Fund.

"When a future patient can't afford anti-rejection medication, my gift can help," he says. "It gives me a great deal of satisfaction to know that I can help someone who needs it even far into the future."

Greg's donation honors his brother and donor, Jim, and Terry Bloomer, RN, lead organ transplant coordinator.

"The entire transplant team was wonderful, but over time, Terry and I have bonded in a special way. It was natural and a pleasure to honor her with my gift," he says.

Greg decided to disclose his gift now because he knows how important philanthropy is — and the power of planned gifts to bring joy, comfort and peace of mind.

"It feels great to know that my resources will be used in ways that are important to me and to set a good example to others to do the same," he says.

Including, no doubt, Anderson Xavier and the next generation of Vranicars.

Honor what matters most to you

Like Greg Vranicar, you can make a transformational gift to benefit the The University of Kansas Health System well into the future. Contact Courtney Johanning at 913-588-2800 or cjohanning@kumc.edu to learn about your giving options.