THE BUTTERFLY AWARD
The Butterfly Award is presented annually at The Brooke Healey Foundation Golf Outing. It recognizes individuals in the medical field that continually go above and beyond the scope of their job outlines to help comfort, heal or touch a pediatric patient in ways no other medical professional could. The compassion of these individuals helps struggling families cope and deal with the tragedies they face.
The Butterfly Award was created with its first recipient, Mary Petriccione, in mind.
Mary was Brooke’s nurse practitioner at Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center.
This award will always be presented in Mary’s honor and in Brooke’s memory.
2014 | Mary Petriccone
Mary Petriccone BSN, MSN, CPNP, nurse practitioner, Memorial Sloan Kettering, was Brooke’s favorite nurse. Mary made Brooke feel so comfortable and was the only person who could make her smile during her various doctor visits. Mary also helped keep Steve and Stefani on an even keel.
Mary had a way of calming Brooke, Steve, and Stefani as different obstacles and challenges arose. She was a perfect balance as a medical professional and liaison between the family and doctors. Her ability to communicate on a very personal level had a big impact on the Healey family.
2023 | Gina Flemming
Gina Fleming is a registered nurse in the pediatric hematology/oncology unit of the Valerie Fund Children's Center at Goryeb Children's Hospital, Morristown, NJ. Gina always knew she wanted to help others, and graduated college with a Bachelor of Science in nursing from Hartwick College in 1997. She began her career at Jamaica Hospital in Queens, moved to Columbia Presbyterian in New York City and, in 2001, took a position on the pediatric floor of Morristown Memorial Hospital. There, she realized her passion for working with children and felt she could make the greatest impact working with pediatric cancer patients. Her desire to make a difference in children's lives has resulted in 22 years of lovingly being a shining light in the lives of children, and their families, during the darkest hours.
2022 | Melinda Mayton
Melinda Mayton is a Pediatric Nurse Practitioner who has devoted her life to taking care of others, primarily children with cancer. Twenty-two years ago, she was asked at a seminar through her church, “What would you do if someone gave you $1 million?” Melinda replied, “I would take children with cancer and their families to the beach.” She was then asked: “So why aren’t you doing that? How are you going to get that $1 million?”
Melinda began fundraising and started Lighthouse Family Retreat in Marietta, GA, a faith-based non-profit that exists to strengthen every family living through childhood cancer.
The organization takes children with cancer and their families on retreats to Destin Beach, FL, giving them a chance to get away from doctors’ visits and the pain and worry that goes along with having a child diagnosed with cancer. Ten years later, Melinda went on to start Blue Skies Ministries to continue the mission allowing more families to come to the beach, and beginning this fall, weekend ventures to the mountains.
Kim is pediatric bone marrow transplant nurse practitioner at Memorial Sloan Kettering. We got to know her through our friend, 9-year-old brain tumor survivor Grace Eline. Kim was Grace's nurse during her treatment at The Valerie Fund at Newark Beth Israel Medical Center. She was the first one that Grace encountered the day after they found her tumor. Kim was welcoming and helpful when Grace was nervous or needed to step away from all of the “tumor talk” that the grown-ups had to discuss.
Kim has an infectious spirit that helps make the pain of tests and treatment an entirely better experience. She is silly and could always make Grace feel comfortable and safe in really hard times. Kim is very thorough and always made sure everything was in order for Grace’s treatments, including helping her parents navigate insurance documents and approvals and making sure the other departments at Newark Beth Israel were up to “her standards” of care for Grace.
Kim successfully completed her nurse practitioner training and testing and is now with Memorial Sloan Kettering in New York City. We’re sure her patients are still receiving the same amazing level of care she provided while at NBI. Kim is a gift to all those that are in her care and that's why she was chosen for The Brooke Healey Foundation Butterfly Award.
2019 | Kim Daschisen
2018 | Yasmin Khakoo, MD, FAAN, FAAP
Yasmin Khakoo, MD, FAAN, FAAP is a board-certified pediatric neurologist and neuro-oncologist on the MSK Kids team who cares for children and young adults with primary brain tumors. As Director of the MSK Kids Child Neurology Program, she has a special interest in the prevention and treatment of nervous system complications in young patients receiving treatment for these tumors and other cancers. Her goal is to help preserve neurologic and cognitive function (thinking abilities) in children with cancer so that when therapy is completed, a child can return to school and their family and resume a normal life.
Dr. Khakoo says, “I consider myself a guardian of my patients’ nervous systems, and I want them to survive and thrive to be the best they can be. It's an honor to care for these children, and I hope someday cancer is cured.”
2017 | Michelle Monje
Michelle Monje, MD, PhD was a consultant to the Healey family throughout Brooke’s battle. The Healeys eventually donated a portion of Brooke’s tumor to Dr. Monje's research lab, and her findings were later published in a paper she wrote.
Dr. Monje is widely considered a leader in the DIPG research community and is well-respected by her colleagues. She joined the faculty at Stanford University in 2011 as an Assistant Professor of Neurology and Neuro-Oncology. Following her undergraduate degree in biology at Vassar College, Dr Monje received her MD and PhD in Neuroscience from Stanford University. She then completed neurology residency at the Massachusetts General Hospital/Brigham and Women’s Hospital/Harvard Medical School program. She subsequently returned to Stanford for a clinical fellowship in pediatric neuro-oncology and a postdoctoral fellowship.
As a practicing neurologist and neuro-oncologist, Dr Monje is dedicated to understanding the neurodevelopment origins of pediatric brain tumors and the neurological consequences of cancer treatments.
2016 | Hilda Quintero
Hilda Quintero was Franky Fusco’s home healthcare nurse. The Brooke Healey Foundation donated provided support to Franky's family and came to know his story well. Once diagnosed with DIPG, become symptomatic and his health declined quickly. Hilda understood Franky was loving, caring and only trying to keep his independence. She listened to Franky, listened to his family and helped to give Franky the best quality of life.
She learned about DIPG and cared greatly about making Franky happy and comfortable. She attended his birthday parties, events and would call after every doctor's appointment. She stayed on after her shift and towards the end, even shared her personal number and would come check on Franky in the middle of the night. Hilda wasn’t just a nurse, she was someone Franky loved who became an important, trusted part of the family. She brings an extraordinary gift to the healthcare field.
2015 | Dr. Alexa C. Kemeny
Alexa Kemeny, MD, FAAP, Summit Medical Group was Brooke’s pediatrician. Stefani took Brooke to Dr. Kemeny when she first developed symptoms. At the time of the exam, Dr Kemeny told Stefani to bring Brooke directly to the hospital.
Dr Kemeny went to Harvard and did her residency in pediatric oncology, and Stefani sensed Brooke’s condition was serious by demeanor. The next day, she came to the hospital for the meeting with the doctors to be there when Steve and Stefani were told the official news. Dr. Kemeny is extremely smart and, at the same time, very sensitive and emotional. She is the very essence of this award.
Your donations go directly to help families dealing with pediatric cancer and supporting targeted research. Experts in the field believe that finding a cure for DIPG may lead to significant advances in all cancer research.