By: Edir Coronado
On June 12, 2016 hundreds of bikers gathered at the New Providence Community Pool parking lot, to register and cruise through town and the surrounding communities. These biker enthusiasts revved up their engines and toured through each town, escorted by the Blue Knights NJ VIII Honor Guard for the Bikers for Brooke Ride. This annual event was founded four years ago by the Brooke Healey foundation in memory of Brooke Healey, who was diagnosed with Diffuse Intrinsic Pontine Glioma(DIPG).
The bike ride lasted just over 2 hours and ended at the Mount Carmel Hall in Berkeley Heights, NJ, where catered BBQ, live Music, and games were available. The BBQ acts as a fundraising tool. According to staff at the Brooke Healey Foundation, the annual event would not be possible without the Mount Carmel Society.
According to the Brooke Healey foundation “DIPG is an inoperable, very aggressive tumor in the middle of the brain stem.” Brooke sadly passed away on January 14, 2013, from DIPG. Part of the Brooke Healey Foundation’s mission is to raise awareness, and this event accomplished its goal and in addition, raised much needed funds for research and assistance to families in need, dealing with DIPG. Since its conception The Brooke Healey Foundation has raised over $600,000 and as a member of the DIPG collaborative, “a collection of foundations with the common interest of inspiring research into the cure of DIPG with the belief that through a cure for DIPG, significant advances in other cancer research will be made,” according to the DIPG.org, The Brooke Healey Foundation has influence where the money is allocated in terms of research.
While the Brooke Healey Foundation started locally and is based out of New Providence it now has, through the DIPG Collaborative, a national reach.
The foundation holds 3 major fundraising events annually. Their next event is a golf outing to be held at New Jersey National Golf Club on August 22nd, 2016.
While the Brooke Healey Foundation has gained major grounds raising funds and awareness for DIPG research, they believe their work will not be completed until they’ve accomplish their ultimate goal, a cure for DIPG.