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In Memory of Alison Won

The objective of the Alison Won Memorial Scholarship is to promote and encourage the development of undergraduate students in the fields of nursing. The scholarship was established by Alison’s life-long friend, Kathryn Harkavy Larson.

In memory of Alison Won, BS Nursing, 1987
By Kathryn Harkavy Larson, BSN/PHN/RN, ‘1987

“I encountered Alison in one of the mile-long book lines at SFSU the day before classes began in 1984. Serendipity presented itself when we both discovered we were first year nursing students. From that day forward, a strong friendship developed that would last almost 33 years until she suddenly passed away in 2016 at age 55. She was my dearest friend in life, a sister to me, an Auntie to my daughter. A thoughtful woman with an unstoppable enthusiastic zest for life, a whirlwind of energy at every age. Her warm winning smile and a penetrable laugh her signature and frequent attributes. A well-honed multi-tasker, patient listener, loved by friends, family, co-workers and patients.

Like many of you, she worked hard and patiently to fulfill her dream of becoming a RN. During her senior year she rotated in the ICU at California Pacific Medical Center. In fact, Alison would never leave CPMC for 29 years as a stellar beloved nurse rotating through TICU, TCU and telemetry. The girl with the biggest heart became devoted to Cardiac Care. That signature smile along with her innate leadership skills reassured and endeared her to hundreds of patients and co-workers.

Alison’s biggest accomplishment in life was her daughter whom she, as a single mom, adopted as an infant in China. A devoted tireless mother who enthusiastically ensured her daughter was exposed to and participated in many activities, Alison never spent one night away from her until the day she passed. Her young daughter was just ten years old then.

I know what it is like to financially struggle throughout college. To juggle numerous jobs, while still working hard to achieve good grades and take pride in all my clinicals. I was fortunate to have had a wonderful varied nursing career which molded me into the person I am, along with my friendship for Alison Won. I will always be grateful to have had both. It is my hope that this scholarship makes life a bit less stressful for you as you pursue your passion, and that you will remember Alison’s story.

I hope that you take heed of the words of longtime sports reporter Craig Sager: ‘Time is something that cannot be bought. It cannot be waged with God. It’s not in endless supply. Time is simply how you live your life.’

Remember these times as part of your life’s adventures and make them memorable for you and others. Enjoy the learning process and life’s friendships along the way."

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