Essie Lee Foundation was founded in the name of my late grandmother soon after Kaiser Permanente announced my mother had two blood clots(bleeds) on her brain. The ironic thing about that announcement was five months earlier, my father was diagnosed with dementia related Alzheimer’s. As an only child of these two people, I was floored. What happened? Why? Was it something genetic or was it environmental? No one had any answers. I had less than zero to work with. But, God has always put me places to seek answers to hard questions. He has always put me in places to make life changing decisions, even,if they seem to be wrong to others. Growing up in a close family taught me to respect others privacy, and, to unfortunately, say little. But, this particular issue, I could not leave alone. Sadly, after some extensive research about the folks who preceded me in life, I found: Brain disorders are genetically in my family history. There are instances in each unit where behaviors have been ignored or secreted because of the stigma And, the results have been devastating!
My mother lived with remnants of her aneurysm for over twenty years until she passed away two days after 2020 began. I cry sometimes. But, I smile more thinking of the many people whose lives were impacted by her caring and sharing vision. She believed that even with challenges life could be lived with possibilities. In her memory, I will continue to do the work as God's assignment to me.
Vicki L. Clark, Founder