Axeon Hagens Berman and the family of Chad Young, who died in April from injuries suffered in a crash at the Tour of the Gila, today announced the creation of the Chad William Young Foundation to fund research into the prevention of traumatic brain injuries in cycling, compassionate hospital care and two merit-based scholarships.
Young's life was cut short after he succumbed to a traumatic brain injury sustained in an accident on the final stage of the Tour of the Gila, a five-day stage race in the Gila National Forest in New Mexico.
"Chad was fortunate to have many great mentors, both academically and athletically, in his life and he was eager to pay their support forward," said Young's mother, Lois Young. "Through the Chad William Young Foundation, we aim to honor Chad's quiet leadership, remarkable intelligence and kind demeanor while continuing to build upon his legacy. We are passionate about what he was passionate about and want to continue supporting those initiatives."
Young joined the development program run by Axel Merckx after being unexpectedly called up for the USA Pro Challenge in 2015. He returned to the team for the 2016 and 2017 seasons. Young crashed on a descent during the April 23rd final stage of the Gila as he was chasing back to the peloton with teammate Edward Anderson. Although Anderson escaped with minor injuries, Young had to be airlifted to a nearby hospital with serious head injuries. He succumbed to his injuries on April 28.
"After many conversations with people in the cycling community, we want to help develop a new technology-based safeguard, rather than a physical safeguard such as helmet, to limit the risk of a traumatic brain injury sustained during a cycling accident," his father, Kevin Young, said in announcing the foundation.
The Chad William Young Foundation will also fund two merit-based scholarships to recipients whose ideals are similar to Young's - exemplified by a life well lived, academic excellence, and pursuit of athletic endeavours. The scholarships will be awarded to students at two schools Young attended: St. Thomas Aquinas High School in Dover, New Hampshire, and the Colorado School of Mines in Golden, Colorado.
"Chad loved and believed in education, and we want to honor him by continuing to support others in his name," said his brother, Kevin Young. "Our hope and mission are that through these scholarships Chad's passion for learning and helping others will continue for generations. It serves as another way for us to honor him by contributing to the communities that he loved."
To find out more about the Chad William Young Foundation or to make a donation, visit https://cwyf.org/.