Welcome to The Butterfly Fund

Emily And Maddie

The families of Emily Barger and Maddie Harrill established the Butterfly Fund at the East Tennessee Foundation in memory of their daughters. Both of these beautiful little girls were diagnosed with Rhabdomyosarcoma, a rare form of childhood cancer, in 2007. Sadly, both of these girls passed away just weeks apart during the summer of 2008.

The Butterfly Fund supports research, treatment and services dedicated to the defeat of childhood cancers. To date we have donated $215,000 to East Tennessee Children’s Hospital and $20,000 to CureSearch.


Here are the facts about childhood cancer and why the Butterfly Fund continues its work.

Each year 13,500 children are diagnosed with cancer.
Every day, 36 children are diagnosed with cancer.
One child out of five, who is diagnosed with cancer, dies.
Children’s cancer affects all ethnic, gender and socio-economic groups.
The average age a child is diagnosed is six.
More than 40, 000 children undergo treatment for cancer each year.
3 out of 5 who survive children’s cancer suffer late-effects such as infertility, heart failure and secondary cancers.
Each year, cancer kills more children in the United States than any other disease.

2016 Grants

We are very thankful for all of the support we have received from the community and local business members. Your support allows us to be able to raise funds to support organizations and programs that strive to treat and cure many forms of childhood cancer. Over the past year we have been able to make the following grants:

  • $50,000 to East Tennessee Children’s Hospital’s Pediatric Pain Management and Palliative Care Program – www.etch.com
  • $10,000 to Dream Connection to assist with fulfilling 3 dreams of children with life threatening or chronically debilitating illnesses in the East Tennessee area – www.dreamconnection.org
  • $5,000 to the Provision CARES Foundation’s Caring Plate program – A program to assure cancer patients currently receiving treatment have access to healthy nutritious meals – www.provisioncares.org
  • $3,000 to the Austin Hatcher Foundation for Pediatric Cancer -The monies will help the Hatch’s House of Hope to expand services to cover neurocognitive testing for a broader range of research protocols with neurocogntive outcomes – www.hatcherfoundation.org
  • $9,075 to the Ronald McDonald House in Knoxville, TN – The Ronald McDonald House of Knoxville provides a “home away from home” for families of seriously ill children receiving treatment at nearby hospitals. The House provides a comfortable, supportive, temporary residence near the medical facility where family members can sleep, eat, relax and find support from other families in similar situations – www.knoxrmhc.org

Again, we thank you for your continued support. We could not do it without you!