Gwen was a true star born to the earth who captivated everyone she met with her beautiful voice, contagious laughter, contemplative wisdom and generous loving heart. Giving boundless energy to those she held dear and even casual strangers, Gwen was a distinguished singer, pianist, songwriter, performer, and true storyteller in both San Francisco and New York City playing with local bands Stone Soup, SpunJunket, Divalicious, Wonderland, The CheeseBalls, and acapella group RoShamBo.
In 2008, Gwen was diagnosed with a meningioma brain tumor, the removal of which resulted in short term memory loss. With the loving care of her husband, Yasir, and healthcare providers at New York University and Memorial Sloan Kettering hospitals, she was able to overcome it in time and have new adventures.
She used her challenges following brain surgery to inspire her music and writing and was recording an album and working on her memoir. Gwen became a marathon runner, tackling seven New York City marathons and the Harrisburg marathon. She didn't stop there. She then graduated with honors from NYU with a degree in creative writing , attended Juilliard for music theory, and was accepted into Columbia’s MFA program. 10 years after being diagnosed with a brain tumor, a rare form of lung cancer (exon 20) took her life on July 22, 2018 at the age of 47.
Their inspiring love story was chronicled by StoryCorps through audio, animation, and in book Ties That Bind: Stories of Love and Gratitude from the First Ten Years of StoryCorps, by founder Dave Isay. Their story was also featured by HowStuffWorks’ Committed Podcast in May of this year, a PBS special, NPR, Women’s Health, Huffington Post, and The Washington Post.
The Gweneviere Mann Foundation has been established to helping more people get scanned for brain tumor and lung cancer early so that they can thrive in life like Gweneviere did.