“It’s not your age, it’s the spread of your wings”: terminally ill girl inspires others

Girl living with terminal illness inspires others


Penny Doerge lived each day with joy, humor and bravery.

She was diagnosed at a young age with neurofibromatosis, a condition that can cause tumors and, in her case, led to terminal brain cancer. He had 15 brain and leg surgeries.

Her father, Chad Dorge, said, “She chose to live her life with joy and optimism.”

As someone who knew Penny, you would never know she was ill. She always chose positivity over pain and hoped to inspire others to find beauty in imperfection.

Her father said, “That’s how Penny lived her life.” “She taught us a lot. She was quietly very brave.”

Penny died in November at the age of 16.

“Like we said, it’s not your age, it’s the span of your wings,” said his mother, Kate Dorge. “Penny lived more life in her 16 years than most people do in 100. For that, we couldn’t be more grateful.”

Her family recently launched Penny’s Flight, a foundation dedicated to inspiring others to live a life like hers. After just one week, the butterfly effect took off and his friends spread his message across the country with the help of comedian Jimmy Fallon and former NFL quarterback Eli Manning. The mission is to make much needed advances in medical research on neurofibromatosis and related diseases.

“I think it goes back to the idea that inspiration is how she lived her life and she’s a cool teacher in everything she did,” Chad Dorge said.

Kate said, “She was a gift to all of us. And we know she lived her life’s purpose.”

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