In Loving Memory
Our dearest son, Charles Z. Zhang, has been, and will always be, the fountain of our greatest happiness and joy. He was an exceptionally kind and talented young man, with great passions in art, philosophy, psychology, forensics debate and being a Spider Man. He grasped skills effortlessly and enjoyed many natural talents and interests in photography, fashion, poetry, cooking, drama, magic, comedy, hip-hop dance, fencing, parkour, swimming and chess.
Charlie has a brave and optimistic soul. For years, he had endured depression, chronic migraine and orthostatic intolerance, all of which run in the maternal side of family; the latter two illnesses did not manifest until his first fainting episode in March 2013 and his eventual diagnosis in October 2013. Even with these ordeals, without any complaint, he had been enjoying his teenager years, school and camp life with so many friends across the country, and his family. However, after the traumatic car accident in June 2013, he suffered a severe concussion and amnesia, which, among other devastating memory losses, made him lose his drawing and debate skills. His health deteriorated severely, and he was disabled from his daily functions since September 2013. With the help from a team of the best doctors, school teachers, close friends and family, he fought courageously and made an amazing recovery until he was deeply saddened by a tragedy of his friend’s passing and his physical symptoms – headache, dizziness and fainting – recurred in February. On March 20, 2014, his beautiful and angelic life was taken by depression, leaving us all heartbroken.
Yet, to our ordinary world, Charlie left his heart of gold, forever enlightening us with his extraordinary loves, passions, laughs and wishes. His three biggest wishes are: 1) be a philanthropist; 2) be a doctor, a therapist to help other people; and 3) be a good dad – mostly influenced and inspired by his tutor who later became his older-brother-like mentor, and his doctor and role model, in addition to so many other people who left their positive marks on his life.
Charlie had already decided to pursue a psychology major and studio art minor at New York University after the summer. We have no doubt that, in 10 years and then another 10 years, he would have become a great art therapist at 27 years old and an awesome dad at 37. Now, we’re determined to help him fulfill his biggest wish – be a philanthropist – to reciprocate to the communities and schools, to help other children who suffer from the same illnesses, and to support public school programs that he was so passionate about. So, here is Zhangogh Foundation, a non-profit organization, named after Charlie’s artsy nickname, Zhang Gogh.
Mom & Dad (Vivian & Yi)