President and CEOOfficers of the CorporationBoard of TrusteesLeadership CouncilHistory
Managing DiabetesChildhood DiabetesNutritionExerciseOnline Diabetes ClassesDiscussion BoardsInfo for Healthcare ProfessionalsJoslin Clinical Guidelines50-Year Medalist Program
Adult ClinicPediatricsEye CareBillingInfo for Healthcare ProfessionalsDiabetes Information & Resources
50-Year Medalist StudyClinical Research
Media RelationsNews ReleasesInside JoslinSocial Media
Affiliated CentersPharma & DeviceCorporate EducationPublicationsProfessional EducationInternational
Give NowGet InvolvedEventsTributes & Special OccasionsCorporate & Foundation EngagementLegacy GivingWays to GivePhilanthropy TeamPublications

Love, Life and Health Afloat European Canals

The couple spent 15 summers
aboard ‘tSKUTSJE, which means
“barge” in Dutch.

Harold Sossen and Charlotte Mazonson have joie de vivre. Every summer for 15 years, the pair cruised the canals of northern Europe on a 65-foot, 100-year-old barge. The two New Englanders enjoyed many adventures, misadventures and culinary and scenic delights in Belgium, Holland and France upon their barge, ‘t SKUTSJE.

But Sossen wasn’t always sure he could continue to travel. About 30 years after being diagnosed with prediabetes, Sossen’s health worsened and he was referred to Joslin Clinic’s Medical Director Martin Abrahamson, M.D., then at Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center. With the expert, compassionate care he received from Dr. Abrahamson, the retired inventor maintained good diabetes control, allowing him to return to life afloat the waters of France. “When Dr. Abrahamson left to go to Joslin, I followed him—he was the reason Charlotte and I could travel all those years,” says Sossen. “Dr. Abrahamson gave me my health. I took comfort knowing I was in good hands, despite being 3,500 miles away on a barge—I was just an e-mail or call away.”

Two years after returning from his cultural affair with the waterways of Europe, Sossen decided to give back to Joslin as a “token of thanks for outstanding care and the ability to enjoy life to its fullest.” He established a charitable gift annuity (CGA) in honor of Dr. Abrahamson to support Joslin’s Center for Innovation in Diabetes Education. With the CGA, Sossen benefits from a charitable income tax deduction and he and Mazonson will receive a quarterly fixed income from Joslin for life. “Annuities are a great way to receive regular income,” explains Sossen, “but also to do something good for an organization you believe in.”

To learn more about charitable gift annuities, please click here.

Page last updated: April 22, 2019