Foundation Board

Foundation Board Members

Pam Bagwell
I am married to John L. Bagwell III. We are blessed to have 5 children and now have 7 grandchildren. I retired earlier this year after having worked for 30 years with Gastonia Children’s Clinic, a busy and excellent pediatric practice in Gastonia, NC.

The Bagwell’s and the Kimsey’s have been friends for over 25 years. We’ve attended church together, sung in the choir together, watched all our children grow up together, attended all our children’s weddings together, and even took several yearly vacations together for over 20 years. It was devastating for all to watch such a wonderful family and close friends suffer through such a horrible illness with their beautiful daughter Lauren.

When I was asked to join the board for Lauren’s Foundation to raise money for research to cure Synovial Sarcoma, I couldn’t have been more honored. I look forward to helping this great family do great things towards helping to find a cure.

Dr. Manish Damani
I’m a urologist and specialize in male infertility, microsurgery and sexual function. I did my residency training in Chapel Hill, NC and did my fellowship in Boston, MA and have been in private practice in Charlotte for almost two decades.

I met Lauren years ago and she was the most sweet, endearing person I’ve ever met with so much strength of mind, body, and soul. She was always glowing, laughing, sympathetic to anyone’s plight and willing to give of herself during both good times and bad.

When she was diagnosed with synovial sarcoma, it was such a tough time for family and friends, yet she was ready to tackle the disease head on and not look back.

She was such an amazing spirit, friend, daughter and sister. This foundation was formed to cure the disease and also to help embody her life and essence, passing forward to others and build upon such.

Jennifer Duch
I currently work at Performance Orthopaedics of the Carolinas Inc as the Business Manager. I graduated from North Carolina State University with a bachelor’s degree in Biological Engineering.

I met Lauren in college at North Carolina State University where we lived in the same dorm building. We met through mutual friends and developed a close friendship over 20 years. When we graduated and moved to different cities we always found a way to keep in touch and get together for girls’ weekends. We both ended up living in Charlotte, just miles apart. I can remember people being so drawn to her for her generosity and kindness. Every friend Lauren had was a ‘best friend’. She was so full of life and never took anything for granted. When she was diagnosed with a rare cancer she remained optimistic and didn’t let it stop her. When she was feeling well she would make and deliver goody baskets to people undergoing chemo treatment, just so they would know somebody was thinking about them. It is my hope that the community can come together to help find a cure for Synovial Sarcoma.

Donnie Grissom
President of Performance Orthopaedics of the Carolinas, Inc. The reason that I wanted to serve on this board was that in the short time that I got to know Lauren, she was such an incredible and giving person. She never complained and worried about others being happy through all of her struggles. I would like the foundation to carry on her legacy of helping others and to be able to find a cure so no one else will have to deal with what Lauren went through.

Pam Kimsey
I live in Gastonia, North Carolina. I am married to Warren Kimsey, former exhibits director of The Schiele Museum of Natural History, We were incredibly lucky to have two precious daughters and two adorable granddaughters. I am retired from Fort Properties as the property manager of the business. This was a very challenging job with no two days the same, but I did enjoy my job and helping those in need find homes.

Our eldest daughter was Lauren Marie Kimsey. She was the sweetest most giving person I have ever known. She fought her battle with cancer with no complaints. She loved doing for others, and worried about everyone else before herself. Her volunteer work continued even as she fought her own battle. Our family will never be the same without her. Her little nieces still remember her and often say they miss their LaLa.

Her sister Ashley Kimsey Jacobs thought of the Foundation in hopes that with enough research, no one else will have to go through what Lauren did. Ashley’s heart is as giving as Lauren’s was. Her dad and I were delighted with this idea and will work hard to see that it continues. This foundation is very personal to me. Lauren would want to see her family trying to help other people not to have to go through what she did. At this time there is no cure for Synovial Sarcoma. I pray that at some point with God’s help and your help we can make a difference.

Ashley (Kimsey) Jacobs
I am the sister of Lauren Marie Kimsey. I am a graduate and scholarship holder of East Carolina University and I have a Bachelor of Fine Arts Degree in Dance Performance. After graduation, I danced professionally for two years, with Columbia City Ballet in Columbia, SC. Our company toured and performed ballets throughout the southeast region of the nation. Since my time with the company I have been teaching dance for the past twelve years. I am currently a ballet instructor at Gaston Dance Theater in Gastonia, NC.

I am also the mother of two precious little girls, Faith, and Emberlyn. My girls were Lauren’s heart, and gave her so much joy, even during her illness. In their eyes, their Aunt LaLa hung the moon. The loss of their dear Aunt leaves a hole in their hearts, just like the rest of us who held her so close to our own hearts.

As Lauren’s sister, and with the help of my wonderful parents, Warren and Pam Kimsey, and amazing board, we established The Lauren Marie Kimsey Foundation for Synovial Sarcoma. I remember thinking, the day that she passed, that her illness and pain could not go unnoticed nor have no purpose. That is when I had the idea to begin a foundation in her name, to fund more research and help those with this incredibly rare form of cancer. Those of you who knew Lauren witnessed the love and compassion she had for others. She touched the lives of so many people with an outstretched arm and opened hand. Even during her illness, to help others was her calling. Her legacy of helping others should live on through this foundation. My hope is that one day a cure will be found for Synovial Sarcoma. I pray that there will come a time where no other person will have to go through what my sister Lauren had to endure, and that no more families will have to lose someone they hold so dear to them. Please help support The Lauren Marie Kimsey Foundation so more people can.. “Live…Laugh… and Love”.

Donna Moffett
I am the owner and CEO of an area consulting and accounting firm whose focus during its 45-year history is closely held businesses and their owners, providing business planning, consulting and tax compliance reporting.

I first met Lauren thru our membership in the Rotary Club of North Mecklenburg County. Lauren’s desire to be a contributing member of our club and her ever-present volunteerism in community projects was an inspiration to many. Lauren had such a positive attitude while dealing with the disease of cancer – always a smile and even a joke to about her journey to put others at ease. To have the opportunity to work with an organization that carries her name in the fight against Synovial Sarcoma is an honor.

Kristin Phillips
I am the Marketing Director and Executive Assistant at Binder Chiropractic in Statesville, NC. I have been married to my amazing husband, Bryan, since 1999. We have two wonderful children, Tayler who will graduate from Appalachian State University in Spring 2020 and Austin who will be graduating from high school in Spring 2020, undecided on where he will start college in the fall.

After moving to Cornelius, NC from Ponte Vedra, Florida, I had the pleasure of meeting Lauren working together at Aquesta Bank. We quickly developed a strong friendship and soon after this became neighbors. I was drawn to her smile and huge heart, they could make the rest of the world disappear. I am forever grateful to have called her one of my best friends. I miss her wisdom, love, advice, comfort, and constant laughs until we cried, she forever touched my heart!

I could not be more honored to be a part of The Lauren Marie Kimsey Foundation for Synovial Sarcoma. She lived to help others and her legacy will continue to live on through the hard work and dedication of her foundation for years to come. Lauren was only here with us 39 short years, but I hope to carry on her light, strength and love with others every day.
Live, Laugh, Love

Sue Puckett
I have been married to Ron, my high school sweetheart, for 54 years. We have four children and two grandchildren. All of our children and grandchildren live in Portland, Oregon except one son who lives in Chicago.

Soon after moving from Illinois to Gastonia, I began employment with the City of Gastonia as an Administrative Assistant. I first worked in the Utilities Department and finished my career in the Engineering Department. I worked there for 21 years, retiring in July 2008.

The Kimsey’s were one of the first families we met after moving to Gastonia. At that time Lauren and Ashley were in elementary school. During the girls growing up years, we would attend school and church activities they were involved in. We saw them grow into beautiful, outstanding young women. The Kimsey family holds a very special place in our hearts.

Brian Sisson
I am the owner and COO of The Range at Lake Norman, The Range at Ballantyne and The Pineville Gun Shop. I also serve on the Board of Directors at EnergyUnited. I am married to Tricia Sisson for 26 years and have two Children Kaitlyn who is an inventory analyst at Electrolux and Sam who is a student at App State.

I had the fortunate opportunity to meet Lauren in 2011, through a mutual friend. She was the type of person that you meet and just adored immediately. Lauren was the center of a group of friends who spent much time together and enjoyed just hanging around and having fun. She was an amazing person whose smile would light up a room and who was always concerned about others, regardless of the challenges she was facing in life. There are very few days that go by, that I don’t think about Lauren and the smile she put on the faces of so many people. She is missed by so many and touched the hearts and souls of an entire community.

When I was asked to join the board of her foundation it took me about a nano-second to agree. Any chance I have to continue to spread, the love, hope and beauty that came from Lauren, makes her limited time on earth that much more special.

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