Rachel & Andy Lee
Rachel and Andy Lee are the co-founders of Madelyn’s Fund. They met just after Andy graduated from the University of Pittsburgh while Rachel was a student at Clemson University. The couple married in 2007 and split their time between Greenville, SC and San Jose, CA while Andy played football for the San Francisco 49ers for 11 seasons. In the spring of 2015, he was traded and played one season each with the Cleveland Browns and the Carolina Panthers. He is currently playing for the Arizona Cardinals. They permanently settled in Charlotte in 2013 with their two boys Ryan (8) and Adam (6). Rachel enjoys shopping and dining at local spots in Charlotte, Bible study, and supporting and attending other philanthropic events. During the off season you can find Andy on the golf course at Charlotte Country Club or cheering on his boys at their sporting events. Both enjoy volunteering at Charlotte Country Day School where their boys attend and are members at Forest Hill Church.
Madelyn, their daughter who was born in 2015, spent 8 days in the NICU before she passed away after complications with an infection. “We created Madelyn’s Fund to honor our daughter’s memory by assisting families in similar situations. If we had not experienced a NICU stay or the loss of our daughter, we would not have known the struggles so many families face. By taking away some of that burden we are supporting families in crisis and blessing them with the ability to focus on their child. Being able to pay for the cost of funeral related expenses is something especially meaningful to us. We never knew how expensive funerals could be since we never considered having to bury a child. No one does. To be able to help a family properly memorialize their child who could otherwise not afford it is a gift we are honored to be able provide through Madelyn’s Fund.
Beyond that, we are a lifeline to families who experience a NICU stay and are able to help so quickly during extremely stressful times. We are so thankful to everyone who has supported us through our loss and now through Madelyn’s Fund.”
A native of Greenville, South Carolina, Corey graduated from Presbyterian College, and went on to work for NationsBank and then Bank of America in both Charlotte and in New York City. She is married to her husband, Clark and is now a stay at home mom to their two daughters – Molly & Kate.
Corey is an avid Clemson Tiger fan, a former Christ Church Preschool and Kindergarten Board Member, and an active volunteer at Charlotte Country Day School. Corey desires to support Rachel and Andy’s mission to help NICU families as a way to allow Madelyn’s life to continue to make an incredible impact in the community. She feels that Madelyn’s Fund fills a void in the community by helping with everyday living expenses for NICU families in need. “Given that we are local and small, we can act quickly to help families in need.”
Amy graduated from Elon University and shortly after moved to Charlotte working as the special events director for the YMCA of Greater Charlotte. Her duties there included planning fundraising events (golf tournaments, races, festivals and galas). Amy’s is married to her husband, Chris, and they have two sons – Landon & Brody, and one daughter, Vivienne.
“When Rachel and Andy shared their mission for Madelyn’s Fund, I was in awe of how they were turning such a tragic time in their lives in to something that will always honor Madelyn. I believe in the mission and am so proud of all Madelyn’s fund has accomplished in such a short amount of time! Madelyn’s Fund Board Members are some of the biggest advocates for the fund.”
Thomas was born and raised in Douglasville, GA and graduated from Georgia State University. He also attended the University of Florida. Thomas has worked in Treasury at Ally Bank since 2016, previously spending 10 years at Bank of America. His family includes wife, Brittany, and their son Harrison & daughter Dylan.
Thomas was aware of the emotional stress of having a baby in the NICU and the extraordinary costs associated with NICU stays. After meeting Rachel and Andy, he really was inspired by their desire to help others and their commitment to the community.
“Madelyn’s Fund helps support the community by helping families with life expenses, which allows them to focus on their baby and by letting them know that they are not alone in their situation. I honestly feel honored and grateful for the opportunity to serve on this Board.”
Katie grew up in Raleigh, NC, and went to Needham Broughton High School. She graduated from UNC-Chapel Hill with a B.A. in Journalism & Mass Communication.
After college, she moved to Washington, DC, for two years and worked at Ketchum, an international public relations firm, where she served clients like Clorox, Kellogg and ConAgra Foods. After Ketchum, she worked at Queens University of Charlotte, overseeing marketing for their adult studies program.
Since 2012, Katie has been employed by Atrium Health (formerly Carolinas HealthCare System), where she has served in a variety of corporate communications leadership roles.
Katie met her husband Anthony while living in D.C. After working as a consultant with Accenture for 10+ years, Anthony moved in-house to one of his clients, Ross Stores (based in Fort Mill, SC), where he’s an IT director. Anthony is from Jackson, MS, and received his B.S. and M.B.A. from Mississippi State University.
Katie’s twin daughters, Mallory and Abigail, were born at 31 weeks and spent nearly 6 weeks in the Levine Children’s Hospital NICU. Mallory and Abigail are now 3.5,. The family just welcomed their third daughter, Lily, in November 2018.
Katie joined the Board because she’s passionate about helping others who share her experience as a NICU parent. She knows first-hand how emotionally, physically and financially difficult the NICU can be.
Katie hopes her experience as a former NICU parent, combined with her PR/communications skills will help raise awareness of Madelyn’s Fund and expand our mission to as many NICU families as possible.
Andrew Tucker, originally from Pageland, SC has lived in Charlotte for 14 years and is employed by CM Tucker Lumber Companies, LLC, a fourth generation family business. He attended Wake Forest University where he serves on the University Athletic Advisory Committee. He and his wife, Blair, have two daughters, Georgia (3) and Mary Charles (2) who attend Myers Park Presbyterian Weekday School. In his spare time, Andrew enjoys spending time with his family and playing golf, as well as serving on the First Tee of Greater Charlotte Development Committee.
On his role as a Board member Andrew says, “My goal is simply to aid in any way possible to help Madelyn’s Fund. We have already seen considerable growth since my time on the board and I would like to help continue that trend. The families that approach Madelyn’s Fund are facing difficult times. If we are able to ease their worries in the slightest way then I feel like Madelyn’s Fund has accomplished its purpose. Having a child in the NICU can be both an emotionally and financially draining experience. To be able to help lighten the burden is the most rewarding thing we can accomplish.
Prior to becoming a stay at home mom to her two sons, Teddy and Emmett, Kelly was a Labor and Delivery Nurse. She received a BA in Communications from the University of Wisconsin and later completed her MS in Nursing at DePaul University in Chicago, where she and her family lived for the last 10 years.
As a labor and delivery nurse at Northwestern and most recently at Baby and Co. in Charlotte, Kelly saw firsthand how the physical and emotional stress that comes with any NICU stay impacts the health of the entire family. Upon learning about the important work being done by Madelyn’s Fund, she knew that this would be a great place to utilize her clinical experience and help some of our community’s most deserving families.
“In my experience, it is critical for NICU parents to be physically and emotionally available to their babies to support the best clinical outcomes. By taking some of the financial burden of having a child in the NICU off of their parent’s shoulders, Madelyn’s Fund directly impacts the health of these babies.”
Originally from Stamford, CT Brian has lived in Charlotte 24 years and is a litigation partner at the law firm of McGuireWoods, LLP. He specializes in complex business disputes and financial services litigation. He has a broad commercial litigation practice that includes a wide variety of industries such as banking, mortgage, telecommunications, energy, construction, and products liability. https://www.mcguirewoods.com/people/k/brian-a-kahn
Brian received his undergraduate degree from University of North Carolina-Chapel Hill and his juris doctorate from UVA Law School.
Brian is married to his wife, Raizel, and they have four boys: Zachary, Cooper and Charlie (11 year-old triplets), and Michael, (8 years old). After a one month stay at the Presbyterian Hospital, the triplets were born at 24 weeks, 0 days. They weighed 1 lb and 6 oz each. Zachary and Charlie were in the Presbyterian Hemby NICU for 100 days and Cooper stayed for 6 months. They are now happy and healthy fifth graders at Providence Day School.
In his spare time, Brian writes and co-produces the Charlotte Squawks, an annual musical parody show that makes fun of pop-culture, sports, life and politics – both local and national. Charlotte Squawks runs for the month of June in Booth Theater and will be in its 15th year in 2019. https://www.facebook.com/CharlotteSquawks/
Brian’s experience with his triplets in the NICU has made him passionate about helping preemies and their families. He and his family also volunteer their time helping out at NICUs.
On his role as a Board member Brian says, “Madelyn’s Fund provides vital support for families going through what is often the most stressful times of their lives. By helping with other financial burdens, Madelyn’s Fund allows families to spend time focusing on their preemies.”
Kelly Ann Walker
Kelly currently works as a Balanced Body Comprehensive Certified Pilates Trainer at Iron Butterfly Pilates Studio. She had two children in the NICU when they were born. This is where she recognized the stress that families encounter, and the needs that are not met by medical insurance. Erin Michael Walker(son), born at 32 weeks (4lbs 8 oz) spent 21 days in the NICU with respiratory distress and made a fully recovery. He is now 29 years old. Shannon Nicole Walker(daughter), born 35 weeks (3lbs) spent 35 days in NICU with IUGR, sepsis, and suffered a stroke has also fully recovered. She is now 26 years old.
Kelly joined the Board because she saw that Madelyn’s Fund helps families to get basic needs met to be able to bring home their babies. “Madelyn’s Fund also helps families whose babies pass away, giving them a proper burial without the financial stress of a funeral, allowing them time to grieve.”
Nicole grew up in Glen Dale, WV and attended college at the University of South Carolina where she majored in Finance and International Business with a minor in French. She moved to Charlotte in 2003 to work at Liberty Mutual. After a few years at Liberty Mutual she switched to banking and worked at Wachovia. She is married to her husband of 10 years, Kevin, and is currently a stay at home mom to their two children, Arden (8) and Ryan (6) who both attend Charlotte Latin.
Nicole joined the Board to support Andy and Rachel in furthering their mission to help families in the NICU and to honor their daughter, Madelyn. Her goals are to spread awareness of Madelyn’s Fund in the Charlotte community to better support and reach every family in need of assistance.
Seantel graduated from North Carolina State University and shortly after married her college sweetheart, Ryan Londry, in 2005. She is a former pharmaceutical sales representative turned stay at home mom to her 5 year old twins Graham and Ellie, who attend Kindergarten at Charlotte Country Day School. Her twins spent 5 weeks in the NICU due to prematurity.
Seantel joined the Board to support her friends during a difficult time. Through her experience in the NICU she knows how much Madelyn’s Fund fills a desperate need for so many families.
“Madelyn’s Fund fills a financial need to families during some of the most difficult times in their lives. Madelyn’s Fund gives families hope, support and financial help during their NICU stay. So many of our Board members have had NICU experience and Madelyn’s Fund gives us a way to give back. So many people ask during these hard times how they can help, you can help by donating to Madelyn’s Fund!”