Local nonprofit Hope Heals the Brain was created to raise funds for the Bloomingdale Library Survivor, known to the community as Queena, to regain the life she once knew. It will be hosting its third annual Hope Classic on Sunday, February 19 at Topgolf in Brandon.

Local nonprofit Hope Heals the Brain was created to raise funds for the Bloomingdale Library Survivor, known to the community as Queena, to regain the life she once knew. As the foundation grows, the possibilities of helping other local survivors is now possible.

Queena’s sister, Anna, started the nonprofit in hopes to continue raising funds and awareness for families and individuals affected by traumatic brain injury in the Central Florida region.

Area golfers are coming together for a fun-filled night at Topgolf in Brandon for Hope Heals the Brain’s Hope Classic.

“This is our third event at Topgolf,” said Queena’s mother, Vanna Nguyen. “The last two were so successful we thought it would be a great idea to bring it back and try to reengage the community again. The COVID pandemic was so tough for us and many nonprofits. We were not able to hold fundraisers like we used to and the turnout dropped.”

The Hope Classic will be held on Sunday, February 19 from 4:30-8 p.m. Participants will enjoy an all-American buffet, private cash bar, 50/50 raffle, silent auction as well as a top-notch Topgolf experience. Early registration is encouraged, but day-of signups will be accepted. To register online and pay by credit card, please visit https://hopeclassic.eventbrite.com. All registration fees and tournament sponsorships are tax-deductible donations; a sixsome costs $400, individuals are $75 and spectator/dinner registration is only $30.

“We’re really looking forward to bringing everyone back together again for Queena, and for the Jasmin and Churchill,” Nguyen said. Jasmin and Churchill are other local residents who have brain injuries.

Churchill is a 40-year-old woman who was diagnosed with a brain tumor and underwent surgery in 2021. The surgery was only able to remove part of the tumor, and she was left in a coma for several months as a result. The surgery and remaining tumor have left her unable to walk, stand, move or shower on her own. Churchill has limited resources and would benefit from a wheelchair-accessible vehicle to see her three young children and attend appointments and therapies. Securing permanent transportation options will allow Churchill to continue with her recovery journey.

Jasmin is a 13-year-old girl who was on vacation with her family in Mexico and was involved in a tragic accident that claimed the lives of her parents and grandparents, which has left her in critical condition. Her family was able to raise funds to have her airlifted back to the U.S. She is currently in ICU at a local Tampa hospital.

“We hope to raise enough money to help cover a few sessions of Queena’s therapy this year,” Nguyen said. “Jasmin will also be coming home from rehab soon and will need some renovations in her home to make it wheelchair accessible. Churchill’s family really needs a new vehicle that can fit a wheelchair. They have no other mode of transportation right now to get her to doctor’s appointments.”

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Libby Hopkins
Libby Hopkins has been a part of the Brandon community for more than 30 years. She is a graduate of USF with a degree in journalism. She has been a freelance writer for The Osprey Observer Newspaper since 2008. She also the Executive Director of Center Place Fine Arts and Civic Association. She is a dog mom to her rescue dog, Marshall. She loves being a part of the Brandon Community and she loves sharing positive news about our community.