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Butterfly release marks awareness day for rare tumor

butterfly on flower

A butterfly release is at 5:30 p.m. May 10 at Haley-Nelson Park, 200 Garden Trail in Burnet, to raise awareness of ependymoma, a rare tumor that forms in the brain or on the spinal cord. Staff photo by Dakota Morrissiey

Butterflies will be released in Burnet on May 10 for Ependymoma Awareness Day, which shines a spotlight on the rare tumor that forms in the brain or on the spinal cord. The event begins at 5:30 p.m. Wednesday at Haley-Nelson Park, 200 Garden Trail.

The day honors those battling ependymoma, recognizes care partners, and supports medical research efforts.

The Collaborative Ependymoma Research Network Foundation started the day in 2012 to highlight the need for more clinical studies to develop treatments and improve outcomes for those living with this rare cancer.

The butterfly release is through Katrina’s Cocoon Crew, a 501(c)3 nonprofit based in Burnet. The group’s goal is “to bring smiles to children battling cancer or other debilitating illnesses by providing costumes, dress up, pajamas, outfits, and accessories and to raise awareness for childhood cancer.”

The nonprofit was founded by Katrina Malin, who died in 2021 at the age of 22 after a lengthy battle with brain and spinal cancer. The organization continues to honor her legacy through events such as the butterfly release.

To donate to Katrina’s Cocoon Crew, visit the organization’s website.