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.

2017 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:

  • The Austin Hatcher Foundation in Chattanooga, Tennessee received $6,000 in support of their Hatch’s House of Hope and their neurocognitive testing program where they study the effect of pediatric cancer treatments and the cognitive deficits sometimes associated with those treatments. These evaluations will lead to intervention measures that will lead to the child succeeding academically and throughout survivorship. – www.hatcherfoundation.org
  • The Dream Connection of Knoxville, TN received $10,000 to fund (3) special dreams for children ages 3 -18 facing life threatening or chronically debilitating illnesses in East Tennessee. – www.dreamconnection.org
  • The Provision Cares Foundation received $4,000 in support of their Caring Plate program. This program provides meals for cancer patients who are otherwise unable to provide for themselves.  This grant will be used to serve pediatric cancer patients and their families. – www.provisioncares.org
  • The Ronald McDonald House received $15,000 to cover the lodging expenses for families caring for children with cancer.  – www.knoxrmhc.org
  • East Tennessee Children’s Hospital received $50,000 in support of their Pain and Palliative Care Program which focuses on alternative medicines and techniques to help patients deal with pain. ETCH is unique in that they offer a service such as this when so often the services provided are not reimbursable via insurance and often goes unbilled to the patients. – www.etch.com
  • Lincoln Memorial University received $15,000 to fund research in rhabdomyosarcoma, the same form of cancer that affected Emily and Maddie. – www.lmunet.edu

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

To donate by check, mail to:
The Butterfly Fund of East Tennessee Foundation
P.O. Box 31434
Knoxville, TN 37930

Make the check payable to:
East Tennessee Foundation
and write "The Butterfly Fund" in the memo.

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