Losing a family member or a friend is one of the most painful experiences that people can go through. Losing a young loved one, like a child or a young adult, is even more difficult.
Margaret “Maggie” Edline Dunn lit up an entire room with her smile, and she was well beyond her years. Maggie was described as being very intelligent, kind-hearted, unbelievably funny, and charismatic, as well as being the best daughter, sister, and friend anyone could ask for. She was a cheerleader for Brusly High School along with her close friend, Caroline.
“Maggie had a way of challenging those around her to look within themselves and reflect, asking if they were doing the best they possibly could to impact the world in a positive, lasting way,” the MED Foundation states.
On December 31, 2022, Maggie; her brother, Liam; and Caroline were running errands before a New Year’s Eve party. A police officer, who was pursuing a suspect in a high-speed chase, ran a red light and crashed into their vehicle. Maggie, who was only 17 years old, and Caroline, 16, did not survive.
It is numbing, cold, and heartbreaking to lose a young loved one.
Randall Dunn, the father of Maggie, set out to help and support those who are experiencing this kind of traumatic loss by starting the MED Foundation. The foundation chose “MED” because they are Maggie’s initials.
“I’m doing this because I know that’s what she would want me to do,” Randall says.
After losing a loved one, the funeral expenses and medical bills are usually the last things grieving parents and family want to think about after a tragedy. Some families don’t have the financial means ready for these unexpected expenses.
To ease some of the pain, stress, and sorrow for mourning parents and family members, the MED Foundation provides financial support to those who have lost a young loved one by offering up to $500 for funeral and medical expenses.
“We’ll write the check directly to the funeral home or the hospital if there’s some uncovered hospital bills or anything like that,” Randall explains.
Emotional support is another key piece of their mission, and the MED Foundation understands that everyone deals with this type of loss differently. For those who need to speak with people who have gone through a similar experience, the foundation has partnered with Hankies2Hope, an organization where mothers who have lost children can come together and support one another.
“There are people who’ve been living with this, and they just need to reach out to somebody,” Randall says.
For Randall and the organization, reaching even four or five lives and connecting them with someone who has gone through the same thing, someone they can lean on, is a great thing.
The MED Foundation also offers an emotional support program. In the case that the funeral and medical bill expenses have been covered, the foundation will provide financial support to help families see a professional.
The organization can even take the $500 and pay for sessions with a therapist for someone who is struggling mentally and emotionally with the loss.
The MED Foundation doesn’t stop there; in addition to the emotional and financial support, there are two annual scholarships for academic perseverance given to students in Maggie’s name. Randall explains that this scholarship isn’t meant for an individual with the best grades, but for a student who has good grades and has experienced some kind of life-changing event, yet they persevered through it.
For people who have suffered the tragic loss of a loved one who was under the age of 21 and unmarried, regardless of the circumstances of the loss, the MED Foundation is here to help. To apply for financial or emotional support, families can go online to apply for the programs.
To support their mission, you can visit their website at maggiedunnfoundation.com and attend an event, donate, or spread the word.