Stunned by the death of young mother Wendy Kwan in 2014, her friends and colleagues have launched a non-profit foundation in her memory, dedicated to research on brain injuries and disorders.
The You First Foundation has been established as a non-profit organization to generate research funds and provide support for brain injury victims’ families. It is based in Houston, and led by the people who worked most closely with Wendy before her death.
Wendy died at age 34 on February 2, 2014. She was a bright, vivacious, dedicated, and talented woman who was Cash Operations Manager at Houston’s First Service Credit Union. She had worked her way up from financial services representative and branch manager positions, and along with her husband, Ken Lee, and daughter, Madeline, was expecting her second child at the time.
A few days earlier, she had awakened with a severe headache, which turned out to be caused by a brain aneurysm. Rushed to the hospital, her condition worsened quickly and doctors were only able to save her unborn daughter, Olivia, through emergency surgery.
Wendy’s unexpected death devastated her friends and co-workers, who have channeled their grief toward a positive cause in her memory. They formed the You First Foundation to accomplish several objectives. The first is to generate research funds for neurointensive care and neurorecovery centers to advance their research on brain injuries and recovery solutions. The foundation also supports the families of brain injury victims through scholarships and supports the Leukemia & Lymphoma Society as well as other non-profit charities.
The first major public fund-raising effort for the You First Foundation will be a golf tournament September 28 at the BlackHorse Golf Club in Cypress. Funds will be generated through participation fees and sponsorships, and the foundation has begun reaching out to organizations and other credit unions throughout the Houston area for support.
“Last year, we lost a dear friend and employee in Wendy Kwan,” said David Bleazard, chairman of the You First Foundation and President of First Service Credit Union. “It was a tragic loss, and the foundation is our effort to bring something positive out of this. “We are committed to ensuring that Wendy is not forgotten and that her legacy lives on.”
About You First Foundation
You First foundation is a non-profit 501(c)(3) public charity that provides support for individuals affected by traumatic medical events and whose goal is to put smiles on the faces of children by assisting with their educational needs. The foundation is assisted by the success of First Service Credit Union’s charitable events and fully supported by employees. You First Foundation supports charitable children’s groups, the Nexus Health Systems (including Healthbridge Children’s Hospital, and Touchstone Neurorecovery Center), the Leukemia & Lymphoma Society, and more. You First Foundation believes that with further research, brain injuries can be fully recoverable. Visit YouFirstFoundation.org to follow the cause.