Make-A-Wish® partners with Fountainhead Investment Partners to grant the wish of a 20-year-old engineering student.
SAN ANTONIO (June 7th) – For the last 35 years, Make-A-Wish® Central & South Texas has granted over 5,000 wishes for children with critical illnesses. But we’re not done yet. We remain deeply committed to granting as many wishes as we can as we can during the health crisis surrounding COVID-19. On Monday, June 7th, Make-A-Wish partnered with the south Texas community to grant 20-year-old Townes’ wish to be a biomedical engineer with a week-long and life-changing internship.
With help from Fountainhead Investment Partners and its portfolio companies Nvision Biomedical Technologies and Watershed Idea Foundry, and led by Make-A-Wish San Antonio Board Chair Lorena Kieser and her husband Brian, the founding partner of Fountainhead Investment Partners, Townes worked with the team developing a new medical device. Some of the highlights of the internship included design planning, user needs assessments, concept generation, CAD work and concept model printing, Cadaver lab, and design review with surgeons.
“From the beginning, Fountainhead Investment Partners has been dedicated to inspiring the next generation of scientists and engineers and giving them the tools they need to succeed,“ said Brian Kieser, Founding Partner of Fountainhead Investment Partners. “Make-a-Wish has been special to our family for a long time, so to be able to grant a wish in a way that is part of our organization’s DNA is incredibly exciting.”
“We were a wish family so I know how incredibly uplifting and valuable these experiences can be for a family.” said Lorena Kieser, Make-A-Wish San Antonio Board Chair. “For us to have an opportunity to give back to another family in such a meaningful way is a gift.”
In 2016, Townes, an honor student and marching band enthusiast, went to the doctor after experience vomiting and regular migraines. The MRI scan showed a tumor in his brain, and he was diagnosed with medulloblastoma. Medulloblastoma develops in the cerebellum, which controls motor function and balance.
Townes went straight into an 8-hour surgery to remove the tumor. After the surgery, Townes was unable walk and see. Throughout his chemotherapy and radiation treatments, Townes was also relearning how to walk, and his vision returned.
“One day you could be walking, and then the next day you wake up and there you are, you’re immobile, and you can’t walk,” Townes said in an interview. “It’s a terrifying thing to think about, but it happens.”
After many months of using a wheelchair and walker, his mom found a device that sends electrical signals into his leg muscles. This device allowed him to better control his movement and most importantly, helped him regain confidence, independence and discover his future career dreams.
“I think a lot of parents get sad because their kids are growing up and moving on,” Patricia, Townes’ mom, said in an interview at Townes’ graduation. “When you have a child that you might not think would make it, you are very happy when they grow up and move on.”
Townes now attends Texas A&M at Galveston and is majoring in engineering with hopes of developing medical devices to help others recover from illnesses and injuries. His brain surgery created challenges, and this internship will help accelerate his career goal.
“If you go and do it, I mean, you might fail, but you might succeed,” Townes said.
With COVID-19, new health worries are also present, bringing added isolation and vulnerability for wish kids and their families. While fighting their illness, children are now anxiously counting the days until their wish will be granted. Their families are counting, too. Now more than ever, hope is essential. After a trip to see the Olympics in Tokyo was reimagined due to COVID, Townes converted his travel wish to an opportunity to explore his career goals.
Fountainhead Investment Partners has supported Make-A-Wish Central & South Texas for more than three years, granting wishes and participating in the San Antonio Walk for Wishes as a corporate team.
“We are grateful to assist U.T.S.A.s’ Medical Engineering Program in the fall. With direct input from surgeons in the field, the students can get a much more hands-on approach. ”
ABOUT MAKE-A-WISH CENTRAL & SOUTH TEXAS
Make-A-Wish® Central & South Texas creates life-changing wishes for children with critical illnesses. We are on a quest to bring every eligible child’s wish to life, because a wish is an integral part of a child’s treatment journey. Research shows children who have wishes granted can build the physical and emotional strength they need to fight a critical illness. Headquartered in Austin and San Antonio, TX, Make-A-Wish is the community’s leading children’s wish-granting organization, serving children in every community across 40 counties. For more information about Make-A-Wish, visit cstx.wish.org.
ABOUT FOUNTAINHEAD INVESTMENT PARTNERS
Fountainhead Investment Partners, based in San Antonio, Texas, is a capital investment firm that funds privately held companies in sustainable industries including medical, manufacturing, telecom, environmental, and industrial.
Originally founded in 2014 as an angel fund by a group of successful medical entrepreneurs, Fountainhead’s focus on partnering with the business owner to take companies to the next level is in its DNA. As the firm has expanded into venture capital and private equity funding models and expanded across industries, this commitment has only grown stronger. Fountainhead’s foundation of accessing innovative technologies from all sectors and applying them to the science of medicine opened the door for industry expansion beyond healthcare.
By offering a range of capital investment options, Fountainhead provides a continuing path for growth from early-stage concept to lower/middle-market with a side-by-side partnership to maximize the highest potential growth.
Nvision Biomedical Technologies media contact
Bonnie Caver, firstname.lastname@example.org, Phone 512-217-5397