Don and Heather Parker’s (pictured right) journey with MDI Biological Laboratory began when their daughter Laurel (pictured above with her husband Brian Juengst, and their children) was selected to be a high school summer fellow during her junior year. Now, more than two decades later, they are a valued part of the MDI Biological Laboratory community. Long-time annual donors, recently the Parkers became members of the John S. Kingsley Society, a group formed to recognize donors who make a planned gift to the institution.
Laurel spent five consecutive summers at the MDI Biological Laboratory working alongside her mentor, Dr. Susan Fellner. During that time, Don and Heather say they saw Laurel’s childhood wish for a career in medicine truly become an attainable goal. “She always wanted to be a doctor,” said Heather. “Her time at MDIBL cemented her desire as she really saw science come alive.”
The couple credits Laurel’s research experience and Dr. Fellner’s careful mentoring with Laurel’s acceptance into Tufts University School of Medicine. Today Laurel serves as the Medical Director of the Emergency Department at Maine General in Augusta, Maine. She continues to stay in touch with Dr. Fellner.
With a surgeon, several medical researchers and nurses, and now an emergency room physician in their extended family, the Parkers are well acquainted with medical careers.“It’s a family legacy,” said Don. “Now that legacy is intertwined with MDIBL’s legacy as well. The Lab’s outreach programs, and educational opportunities have enriched life for all of us. The discoveries made by MDIBL scientists will improve people’s lives immeasurably, and we are glad to be a part of it.”
Learn more: Gift planning offers a variety of ways for you to support the ongoing legacy of MDI Biological Laboratory.
For more information about how you can make a planned gift, please visit our planned giving page.
Read more in the latest issue of our flagship magazine, Breaking Through.