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In Honor of Penny Doerge, the Doerge Family Announces the Launch of Penny’s Flight, a Foundation Dedicated to Raising Awareness and Funding Research for Neurofibromatosis and Related Disorders

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Press release content from Business Wire. The AP news staff was not involved in its creation.
January 5, 2023 GMT

NEW YORK--(BUSINESS WIRE)--Jan 5, 2023--

This past November 10, Penny Doerge, age 16, succumbed to an aggressive form of brain cancer stemming from a genetic disease called Neurofibromatosis (NF1). NF1, which can affect people in a wide variety of ways, is the most common genetic disorder globally and still has no cure. Inspired by the strength, positivity, and bravery with which Penny lived her life, parents Chad and Kate Doerge along with brothers Henry and Frankie, announce today the launch of a foundation in Penny’s name to raise awareness and funding for NF and its related conditions. Penny’s Flight Foundation is established in celebration of the extraordinary life and the inspirational qualities that Penny Doerge personified — joy, artistic expression, and humor — while bravely living with Neurofibromatosis since infancy.

The Foundation’s mission is to make much-needed advances in medical research on Neurofibromatosis and related disorders — with a lasting impact on altering the course of this disease. There is no cure for NF and research around the disease remains underfunded, despite being one of the most common genetic disorders in the United States (one in every 2,500 to 3,000 births).


Through Penny’s story and her bright light, the Foundation aims to expand knowledge around NF, while inspiring others to find beauty in imperfection, positivity in the face of challenge, and faith over fear. Penny’s love of butterflies and everything they stand for, from their beauty to their gentle nature, remains after her passing and will symbolize hope and community for patients suffering from NF and their loved ones. The Doerge family truly believes in the butterfly effect, a phenomenon in which a tiny event, like the flap of a butterfly’s wings, can result in a profound and far-reaching shift of circumstance. From this belief, their new mission is born.

“Though she never allowed NF to define her, our daughter’s life was cut too short by this disease. Penny chose to shine brightly and live as an example for others, and we now choose to celebrate Penny through the work we will do with the foundation so that one day no one will have to endure the challenges that Neurofibromatosis inflicts,” said Kate Doerge, Penny’s mother, co-chair and director of Penny’s Flight Foundation.


The foundation board is composed of Chad Doerge (Chair), Kate Doerge, (Vice Chair and President), Megan Grant (Secretary), and Scott Willard (Treasurer). Renowned doctors Kaleb Yohay, Director of Child Neurology NYU, David Harter, Director of Neurosurgery NYU, and Roger Widmann, Chief of Pediatric Orthopedics at Hospital for Special Surgery, will act as Medical Advisors. Additional board of advisors and medical board members will be announced shortly.

Artist Donald Robertson donated an original illustration of Penny that will be available as limited-edition prints selling for $500 with 100% of the proceeds going to the foundation. Donald was Penny’s favorite artist and her own art was heavily influenced by his style.


To learn how you can get involved and for more information, visit the website:
Instagram @pennysflight
TikTok @pennysflightfoundation

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SOURCE: Penny’s Flight Foundation

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PUB: 01/05/2023 09:05 AM/DISC: 01/05/2023 09:06 AM