March 16th Fundraiser for New Providence's Brooke Healey Sold Out; Donations for Brooke and Her Family Still Being Accepted
Tuesday, March 5, 2013 • 10:13pm
NEW PROVIDENCE, NJ – Since four-year-old Brooke Healey’s diagnosis with a brain tumor a few weeks ago, the New Providence community has rallied around the family, and the March 16 fundraiser is now sold out.
Brooke, the daughter of New Providence High School graduates Steve and Stefanie Healey and granddaughter of Al Elefante of Elefante Music & School for the Performing Arts, has been diagnosed with a brain tumor called a Diffuse Intrinsic Pontine Glioma (DIPG). The diagnosis has been confirmed by multiple doctors. In every attempt to operate and remove all or part of the tumor, there has been no one who has survived the surgery. While radiation will help alleviate Brooke’s discomfort on a short-term basis, survival past 12 to 14 months is uncommon. The survival rate is two percent.
Family friend Barbie Bratz has helped organize a fundraiser scheduled for March 16 at the Grand Summit Hotel. The evening will include a raffle and auction, live entertainment, a buffet dinner, and open bar and, most importantly, a healthy dose of fun and laughter.
“We’re not bringing in medical professionals to talk about the diagnosis or anything like that,” Bratz said. “We’re going to celebrate Brooke and show that we believe in her. We just want people to come and be happy, because that’s how Brooke is. She’s the happiest, sweetest little girl you can imagine.”
Bratz said Brooke knows she’s sick, but doesn’t understand the full extent of her illness, and that’s fine with her family. They want her to just enjoy life as a four-year-old as much as possible. When she is finished with the current round of radiation, doctors say she will be feeling better for awhile, until the tumor begins to grow again. The support that has poured in from the New Providence community has been a huge help to the family.
“The community has really come together for them,” Bratz said. “Their living room and dining room are full of donations they’ve received. It’s great to see, but heartbreaking at the same time.”
A fund has also been set up for Brooke through The Heartworks Organization. All of the donations will go directly to the family. Visit www.njheartworks.org to make your donation online. Please be sure to put “Brooke Healey” in the note section. To mail a check, email firstname.lastname@example.org.