January 9, 2015 Foundation News

Lisa’s Story

On Wednesday, January 7, Brain Research Foundation lost its co-founder and Chairman Emeritus, William E. Fay, Jr. He was 97. While we were greatly saddened by learning of his passing, we all remain deeply grateful to Bill for leaving such a tremendous legacy and truly changing the landscape of neuroscience research.

Donations in memory of Bill Fay gratefully accepted here.

To watch a recent of Bill which was shown when he accepted the Founders Award in Chicago this past October, click here.

To read Bill Fay’s personal journey and his vision and passion for the Brain Research Foundation, please click here.

In October 1958, Margaret and Bill Fay noticed that their 10-month-old daughter Lisa was having small, involuntary tremors. As time passed, Lisa began having seizures which came more frequently and with increased intensity. This led the Fays on a long journey to find answers and treatments for their little girl.

In desperation, they took Lisa to various specialists around the country. That is when they met Dr. Frederic A. Gibbs at the University of Illinois. Dr. Gibbs was a leading neurologist involved in researching the causes, diagnoses and treatments of epilepsy.

The Fays finally found some hope and treatments for Lisa, but Bill quickly realized that there were only hypotheses about brain function, no facts. He understood that in order to understand pediatric epilepsy one needed to have answers as to how the entire brain functioned, not just focus on one area or one disease. Coincidentally, in 1953 Dr. Gibbs had just organized a group of doctors to form the beginning of what is now known as the Brain Research Foundation. Bill and his family decided to wholeheartedly support this Foundation, along with the Clinton E. Frank family. Both men were passionate about enlisting business leaders to join them in supporting their vision. Bill’s leadership was critical in creating a foundation that became one of the country’s oldest and most innovative organizations supporting brain research.

In 1982 bill retired from Smith Barney & Company as Executive Vice President. As Chairman Emeritus of the Brain Research Foundation, Bill remained dedicated to our mission and called into every board meeting. Bill enjoyed his retirement in the Village of Golf, Florida and claimed that his secret to staying young was swimming in his pool every day and playing bridge three times a week.

Lisa has a fulfilling job at a daycare facility and lives independently.

Donations in memory of Bill Fay gratefully accepted here.