Meet Nora

Nora was born to Tiffany and Jeremy McConathy on Dec 11, 2020. She was a happy, loving, smiling baby with the most beautiful blue eyes and long brown hair. She loved to watch her brother play. She was very inquisitive and knocked her milestones out left and right. She loved to splash in the water. Tiffany loved to dress her up in the cutest outfits, necklaces and bows.
Our life was perfect until September 16th of 2021. Nora developed right-sided facial weakness. My husband and I immediately took her to Arkansas Children’s Hospital. She was seen by a resident, ER attending, and a pediatric neurologist. The neurologist was certain this was a case of Bell’s palsy and it would resolve on its own.
Fast forward 6 weeks, she continued to become more lethargic, would not eat, and was not acting like herself. We took her back to Arkansas Children’s hospital on October 31, 2021. Testing was done and they diagnosed her with an infection in her right temporal bone by her ear. I did not feel this was the right diagnosis and
pushed for an MRI.
The first set of doctors would not order this for us. I demanded to see another neurologist at that point. An MRI was done on November 1, 2021 and revealed several brain tumors as well as tumors down her entire spinal cord. She had a biopsy on November 3 of 2021. It showed ETMR, which stands for embryonal tumor with multilayer rosettes. We had to wait 2 weeks before starting treatment after her biopsy to allow for healing. She had a port and gtube placed on 11/15. She was put in the ETMR ONE registry.Cycle 1 chemo started 11/16 with high dose methotrexate, cyclofosfamide, vincristine, cisplatin and etoposide.  Plans for 3 cycles of this followed by transplant chemo with stem cell rescue. She was given three rounds of extensive high-dose chemotherapy which were quite effective. However, she did have to have a shunt and an ommaya placed due to increasing pressure in her brain from fluid. She underwent stem cell harvest in hopes for the tandem stem cell transplant cycles to finish out or last 3 rounds of high dose chemotherapy. Unfortunately she developed an asymptomatic case of covid and her next treatment plans were delayed. This ultimately resulted in her death due to the aggressiveness of her cancer. The most unfortunate part about her death was that my husband and I wanted to research autopsy to allow for tissue sampling. Unfortunately, the hospital would not do her autopsy due to her COVID positivity. There are less than a thousand cases of Nora’s cancer documented worldwide. There are Covid protocols for autopsy from the CDC but the hospital had not revised their policy.

We have started a non-profit foundation in our daughter’s honor. With our foundation, we are going to raise awareness and partner with other pediatric cancer nonprofits to help fund clinical trials. One thing I have found since having a daughter diagnosed with cancer is the severe lack of funding for research in children. The government spends 96% of funding on adults and only 4% on children.
The American Cancer society only donates 1% of funding to pediatric cancer research. Our goal is to raise awareness and change these statistics. Unfortunately, pediatric cancer research does not enhance research for the adult population in any way. The cancers are so different and treated

quite differently from adults to children therefore the crossover is not there. I do understand quite a bit more than the average person as I am an oncology certified nurse practitioner.
Our family is grieving but putting every effort into changing the landscape of what we now see as pediatric cancer research. I hope someday our organization is a household name. We have a son named Zane, he is 5 years old. He misses his sister but understands she’s in heaven. We talk about her a lot and hope that she can hear us.

Meet Nora

Nora was born to Tiffany and Jeremy McConathy on Dec 11, 2020. She was a happy, loving, smiling baby with the most beautiful blue eyes and
long brown hair. She loved to watch her brother play. She was very inquisitive and knocked her milestones out left and right. She loved to splash in the water. Tiffany loved to dress her up in the cutest outfits, necklaces and bows. 
Our life was perfect until September 16th of 2021. Nora developed right-sided facial weakness. My husband and I immediately took her to Arkansas Children’s Hospital. She was seen by a resident, ER attending, and a pediatric neurologist. The neurologist was certain this was a case of Bell’s palsy and it would resolve on its own.  
Fast forward 6 weeks, she continued to become more lethargic, would not eat, and was not acting like herself. We took her back to Arkansas Children’s hospital on October 31, 2021. Testing was done and they diagnosed her with an infection in her right temporal bone by her ear. I did not feel this was the right diagnosis and
pushed for an MRI.  
The first set of doctors would not order this for us. I demanded to see another neurologist at that point. An MRI was done on November 1, 2021 and revealed several brain tumors as well as tumors down her entire spinal cord. She had a biopsy on November 3 of 2021. It showed ETMR, which stands for embryonal tumor with multilayer rosettes. We had to wait 2 weeks before starting treatment after her biopsy to allow for healing. She had a port and gtube placed on 11/15. She was put in the ETMR ONE registry.Cycle 1 chemo
started 11/16 with high dose methotrexate, cyclofosfamide, vincristine, cisplatin and etoposide.  Plans for 3 cycles of this followed by transplant chemo with stem cell rescue. She was given three rounds of extensive high-dose chemotherapy which were quite effective. However, she did have to have a shunt and an ommaya placed due to increasing pressure in her brain from fluid. She underwent stem cell harvest in hopes for the tandem stem cell transplant cycles to finish out or last 3 rounds of high dose chemotherapy. Unfortunately she developed an asymptomatic case of covid
and her next treatment plans were delayed. This ultimately resulted in her death due to the aggressiveness of her cancer. The most unfortunate part about her death was that my husband and I wanted to research autopsy to allow for tissue sampling. Unfortunately, the hospital would not do her autopsy due to her COVID positivity. There are less than a thousand cases of Nora’s cancer documented worldwide. There are Covid protocols for autopsy from the CDC but the hospital had not revised their policy.
We have started a non-profit foundation in our daughter’s honor. With our foundation, we are going to raise awareness and partner with other pediatric cancer nonprofits to help fund clinical trials. One thing I have found since having a daughter diagnosed with cancer is the severe lack of funding for research in children. The government spends 96% of funding on adults and only 4% on children. 
The American Cancer society only donates 1% of funding to pediatric cancer research. Our goal is to raise awareness and change these statistics. Unfortunately, pediatric cancer research does not enhance research for the adult population in any way. The cancers are so different and treated
quite differently from adults to children therefore the crossover is not there. I do understand quite a bit more than the average person as I am an oncology certified nurse practitioner.
Our family is grieving but putting every effort into changing the landscape of what we now see as pediatric cancer research. I hope someday our organization is a household name. We have a son named Zane, he is 5 years old. He misses his sister but understands she’s in heaven. We talk about her a lot and hope that she can hear us.
 

"The sloth as a spirit guide means to slow down and appreciate things and also represents patience. I see it as Nora knew her time on earth was precious so she appreciated every moment as did those who loved her and now serves as a reminder that we must be patient in waiting to see her again"

-Heather George

"The sloth as a spirit guide means to slow down and appreciate things and also represents patience. I see it as Nora knew her time on earth was precious so she appreciated every moment as did those who loved her and now serves as a reminder that we must be patient in waiting to see her again"

-Heather George

Our Mission

To be a voice, in making childhood cancer a national priority by shaping policy, supporting a broad spectrum of pediatric cancer organizations, raising awareness, advocating for research, and aiding in the improvement of quality of life. 

 

Nora's Story

I took her to the ER in the middle of Sept at 9 months for right sided facial weakness. She was diagnosed with Bells Palsy without any imaging (I am actually a nurse practitioner in hem/onc ) I was concerned but the neurologist convinced me that's all it was. Fast forward 6 weeks, she is lethargic, not eating, quit babbling, and was no longer able to walk, and seemed so unsteady and bilateral facial palsy. Went back to the ER. Admitted for weight loss, dehydration, and loss of milestones. CT of her head showed possible mild infection around her bone in her ear (she had an ear infection for 6 weeks off and on). They were treating her with IV antibiotics and planned on discharge. I was adamant she have an MRI. Pediatric team and ENT refused. I demanded to see a neurologist. They reluctantly agreed. 
 Next day, she had tubes placed in her ears and immediately went for the MRI.
The MRI found multiple brain and spinal mets. She had a Laminectomy done on 11/3 to get biopsy and showed ETMR. Port/gtube placed on 11/15. She was put in the ETMR ONE registry. Cycle 1 chemo started 11/16 with high dose methotrexate, cyclofosfamide, vincristine, cisplatin and etoposide. She received 3 cycles of this followed by stem cell harvest, as She was too young for radiation.  
During this interval between chemo and stem cell harvest, she had an emergency shunt placed due to increased pressure on the brain. She also had a port placed in her head called an ommaya to give her chemo directly to her spinal fluid. We then went thru stem cell collection and while she was admitted, she tested positive for covid. She was asymptomatic. Therefore, her transplant was delayed. She received 1 dose of intrathecal methotrexate. We brought her home to wait until her transplant day. She was having a ton of pain and we noticed her breathing changed.  
This is the only single thing that is ETCHED into my brain for eternity. 
Every. Single. Minute. The last 36 hours . . .
I could literally replay moment by moment her last day and a half. She had been so fussy the past few days prior. She had intrathecal chemo (thru the port in her head) that Tuesday. I thought that had caused her to be more fussy than normal. She started holding her head funny Thursday evening. I knew at that point something was wrong. I knew her cancer had likely progressed bc she had been off chemo for several weeks. I assumed she had a tumor pushing on her spinal cord. But she was not in distress. Feb 17th, 11:00pm. Jeremy is watching her on the monitor. She is taking deep breaths and pausing between. I am staring at the monitor wondering if I need to take her to the hospital. Knowing in my heart what was happening but refusing to acknowledge or believe it. But I was so tired. We had been in and out of the hospital for 4 months. We hadn’t slept full nights more than 2 days in a row. All I could think was, I am going to take her first thing in the morning to the hospital, but we all needed sleep. She woke up 3 times that night. I took her pain and nausea medicine. She was so tired and didn’t want to move. She cried every time she changed positions.  
7am I get her up to take her in. I packed up all our things for staying for several days. I knew they would go ahead and start her transplant since she was progressing.  
9am We get to the ER. She slept the whole way from home to the hospital, after sleeping all night. We get checked in. I am sitting in the ER for what seemed like an eternity. She is crying and upset because she is getting moved around. Finally, they bring her some morphine. She starts resting. 945am. We finally go to CT. 
1045am. ER doc comes in, says “looks like her shunts are functioning ok”. We will admit her and call oncology.  
11:30pm CT report comes thru on mychart. Extensive disease progression….. cue the panic. Her tumors had never been seen on CT before. It always had to be an MRI. 5 minutes later, Dr. B comes in. Sits down. Tells me what I already know, but then says…. I don’t think we need to do anymore treatment but he wants an MRI to confirm. I tell him her breathing has changed. Ask about being able to get her off the ventilator, he agreed it was risky, but we had to know for sure. Called Jeremy, then my mom and dad. Jeremy and I decided he needed to be there when she woke up so we could make decisions. There was nothing he could do while she was in MRI and we figured the next several days or weeks would be long. So, I sat in the room alone with Nora and my thoughts for the next hour until my mom made it from Hot Springs. She slept on me and I snuggled her and cried.  
We finally get to go to MRI 1pm, I laid her down on the bed so they could get her to sleep. I held her hand and told her I would see her when she woke up. I told her I loved her. They put the gas mask over her face ( which she promptly pushed away in her normal sassy fashion), then she was asleep. 
Jeremy heads to little rock. Then we wait, and wait and wait. She was supposed to be out by 2:30. 4:30pm. I text my dad. I don’t think they can get her off the vent.  
4:40pm. Dr. B comes in., its as bad as we thought. We decided to take her home with hospice. Still, wondering what is taking so long. But knowing in the back of my head what the problem was. 
 5:30pm. I text Dr. Muldoon. “I’m panicking. Do I take her for a second opinion . . .” He has always been my voice of reason. He messages me back and says I know that won’t change anything. 630pm We are all at the hospital, waiting, staring at each other . . .Finally, I have had enough and start calling PACU, the oncology floor. I needed to know what in the world was going on. 
 7:30pm we get taken to a side conference room in PICU. The doctors are sitting there with their heads down. “Her pupils are fixed and dilated. She has not responded, and she has been off the sedative since 2pm.” Then I hear Jeremy’s frustration . . . WHAT DOES THAT MEAN??? I had to look at my husband and tell him our daughter was brain dead because the doctors couldn’t come up with the words to tell him. He left the room to be with nora by himself for a bit after this.  
Then, we had to explain to our 5 year old his sister isn’t coming home. The next 4 hours were spent with us holding her, crying, talking to her, holding her tiny hand. Child life and nurses trying to help us capture every single thing we could before we had to say our final goodbye. My whole family was by our side and hers. My mom, dad, ana, tina, Dakota, mike, glenda, Courtney, marissa, amy and virginia. We prayed over her. Then told them we were ready around 11:45pm on 2/18/22.  
By the time the staff got everything ready, it was around 12:15am. They took her off the ventilator. Her little heart was so strong. It did not want to give up. At 12:36am, her heart rate started to fall… beep…… beep…. Beep….. alarm. 12:38am. That’s the time part of my heart died. I held her for over an hour. Trying to convince myself to put her down. When I did, I cleaned her up, took all her tubes and dressings off. I got her dressed and changed her diaper. One last time. I picked her back up and held her on my shoulder that was so tired because that was her favorite place to be.  
At 2:30, I finally got the courage to put her down. We covered her up and kissed her head. I felt so guilty for leaving her there. They made me take her sloth because they didn’t want to lose it. All I could think about was her being so alone…. I know she was gone but what kind of mother left her child alone. People tell you, you can’t blame yourself. Don’t feel guilty. There is nothing you could have changed. But really that isn’t true. If we had hindsight, we could change a lot. Unfortunately, we weren’t made that way. But these thoughts are why I cannot talk about her death. It brings up things that I can’t change.  
noras story
The last blow: Jeremy and I decided to have a research autopsy done on Nora due to the rarity of her cancer. We wanted to help anyone possible with this horrific disease. On Feb 21st, my phone rang with a number from Children’s. I wasn’t in the frame of mind to know who it was, so Jeremy answered. It was a call from Dr. B (Nora’s primary oncologist) stating her research autopsy would not be done. The reason… she tested positive for COVID over a week before she died. She was "symptomatic" (sneezing) for over a week before that (over 14 days had passed). Was she symptomatic when she passed, NO. Is Covid on her death certificate? NO. Dr. B tried to get it done for us. He called 10 hospitals. But 10 HOSPITALS REFUSED TO DO AN AUTOPSY BECAUSE SHE TESTED POSITIVE FOR A VIRUS. We are devastated by this. A virus that has a death rate of 0.01%.  
Let me put something into perspective. I watched a tumor board composed of neuro-oncology specialist AROUND THE WORLD, who came together to discuss ETMR. This cancer has around 900 documented cases, but only 600 of these are confirmed and the other 300 are likely duplicate cases. Of those 600, 67% have NO CLINICAL INFORMATION. 23% of these have NO MOLECULAR confirmation and ONLY 10 PERCENT HAVE COMPLETE TREATMENT AND OUTCOME RELATED DATA!!! THIS IS UNACCEPTABLE. With the information above, the hospitals who refused to do her autopsy completely squandered the opportunity to make advancements in this tumor type. Nora’s molecular analysis was incomplete due to lack of tumor tissue from her initial biopsy. This could have been done. More answers could have been obtained. Treatments studied. I doubt many parents make the decision to have a research autopsy done because that is a hard choice to make once your BABY has died. But we wanted other babies to LIVE. Most of you know, I am in a uniquenora's story position of understanding. This is the reason we started Princess Nora's Warrior Foundation. We are partnering with other foundations to make real, meaningful change. Please join us.  
This pic is the result of no change . . . We have to do better #etmrwarrior #forever14months #norastrong #morethan4 #PrincessNora #worldchangers #dobetter 

 

For more information, please check out our Impact Page.
For regular updates, please join our Newsletter.

 

Our Mission

Our mission is to be a voice in making childhood cancer a national priority by shaping policy, supporting a broad spectrum of pediatric cancer organizations, raising awareness, advocating for research, and aiding in the improvement of quality of life.

Nora's Story

I took her to the ER in the middle of Sept at 9 months for right sided facial weakness. She was diagnosed with Bells Palsy without any imaging (I am actually a nurse practitioner in hem/onc ) I was concerned but the neurologist convinced me that's all it was. Fast forward 6 weeks, she is lethargic, not eating, quit babbling, and was no longer able to walk, and seemed so unsteady and bilateral facial palsy. Went back to the ER. Admitted for weight loss, dehydration, and loss of milestones. CT of her head showed possible mild infection around her bone in her ear (she had an ear infection for 6 weeks off and on). They were treating her with IV antibiotics and planned on discharge. I was adamant she have an MRI. Pediatric team and ENT refused. I demanded to see a neurologist. They reluctantly agreed. 
 Next day, she had tubes placed in her ears and immediately went for the MRI.
The MRI found multiple brain and spinal mets. She had a Laminectomy done on 11/3 to get biopsy and showed ETMR. Port/gtube placed on 11/15. She was put in the ETMR ONE registry. Cycle 1 chemo started 11/16 with high dose methotrexate, cyclofosfamide, vincristine, cisplatin and etoposide. She received 3 cycles of this followed by stem cell harvest, as She was too young for radiation.  
During this interval between chemo and stem cell harvest, she had an emergency shunt placed due to increased pressure on the brain. She also had a port placed in her head called an ommaya to give her chemo directly to her spinal fluid. We then went thru stem cell collection and while she was admitted, she tested positive for covid. She was asymptomatic. Therefore, her transplant was delayed. She received 1 dose of intrathecal methotrexate. We brought her home to wait until her transplant day. She was having a ton of pain and we noticed her breathing changed.  
This is the only single thing that is ETCHED into my brain for eternity. 
Every. Single. Minute. The last 36 hours . . .
I could literally replay moment by moment her last day and a half. She had been so fussy the past few days prior. She had intrathecal chemo (thru the port in her head) that Tuesday. I thought that had caused her to be more fussy than normal. She started holding her head funny Thursday evening. I knew at that point something was wrong. I knew her cancer had likely progressed bc she had been off chemo for several weeks. I assumed she had a tumor pushing on her spinal cord. But she was not in distress. Feb 17th, 11:00pm. Jeremy is watching her on the monitor. She is taking deep breaths and pausing between. I am staring at the monitor wondering if I need to take her to the hospital. Knowing in my heart what was happening but refusing to acknowledge or believe it. But I was so tired. We had been in and out of the hospital for 4 months. We hadn’t slept full nights more than 2 days in a row. All I could think was, I am going to take her first thing in the morning to the hospital, but we all needed sleep. She woke up 3 times that night. I took her pain and nausea medicine. She was so tired and didn’t want to move. She cried every time she changed positions.  
7am I get her up to take her in. I packed up all our things for staying for several days. I knew they would go ahead and start her transplant since she was progressing.  
9am We get to the ER. She slept the whole way from home to the hospital, after sleeping all night. We get checked in. I am sitting in the ER for what seemed like an eternity. She is crying and upset because she is getting moved around. Finally, they bring her some morphine. She starts resting. 945am. We finally go to CT. 
1045am. ER doc comes in, says “looks like her shunts are functioning ok”. We will admit her and call oncology.  
11:30pm CT report comes thru on mychart. Extensive disease progression….. cue the panic. Her tumors had never been seen on CT before. It always had to be an MRI. 5 minutes later, Dr. B comes in. Sits down. Tells me what I already know, but then says…. I don’t think we need to do anymore treatment but he wants an MRI to confirm. I tell him her breathing has changed. Ask about being able to get her off the ventilator, he agreed it was risky, but we had to know for sure. Called Jeremy, then my mom and dad. Jeremy and I decided he needed to be there when she woke up so we could make decisions. There was nothing he could do while she was in MRI and we figured the next several days or weeks would be long. So, I sat in the room alone with Nora and my thoughts for the next hour until my mom made it from Hot Springs. She slept on me and I snuggled her and cried.  
We finally get to go to MRI 1pm, I laid her down on the bed so they could get her to sleep. I held her hand and told her I would see her when she woke up. I told her I loved her. They put the gas mask over her face ( which she promptly pushed away in her normal sassy fashion), then she was asleep. 
Jeremy heads to little rock. Then we wait, and wait and wait. She was supposed to be out by 2:30. 4:30pm. I text my dad. I don’t think they can get her off the vent.  
4:40pm. Dr. B comes in., its as bad as we thought. We decided to take her home with hospice. Still, wondering what is taking so long. But knowing in the back of my head what the problem was. 
 5:30pm. I text Dr. Muldoon. “I’m panicking. Do I take her for a second opinion . . .” He has always been my voice of reason. He messages me back and says I know that won’t change anything. 630pm We are all at the hospital, waiting, staring at each other . . .Finally, I have had enough and start calling PACU, the oncology floor. I needed to know what in the world was going on. 
 7:30pm we get taken to a side conference room in PICU. The doctors are sitting there with their heads down. “Her pupils are fixed and dilated. She has not responded, and she has been off the sedative since 2pm.” Then I hear Jeremy’s frustration . . . WHAT DOES THAT MEAN??? I had to look at my husband and tell him our daughter was brain dead because the doctors couldn’t come up with the words to tell him. He left the room to be with nora by himself for a bit after this.  
Then, we had to explain to our 5 year old his sister isn’t coming home. The next 4 hours were spent with us holding her, crying, talking to her, holding her tiny hand. Child life and nurses trying to help us capture every single thing we could before we had to say our final goodbye. My whole family was by our side and hers. My mom, dad, ana, tina, Dakota, mike, glenda, Courtney, marissa, amy and virginia. We prayed over her. Then told them we were ready around 11:45pm on 2/18/22.  
By the time the staff got everything ready, it was around 12:15am. They took her off the ventilator. Her little heart was so strong. It did not want to give up. At 12:36am, her heart rate started to fall… beep…… beep…. Beep….. alarm. 12:38am. That’s the time part of my heart died. I held her for over an hour. Trying to convince myself to put her down. When I did, I cleaned her up, took all her tubes and dressings off. I got her dressed and changed her diaper. One last time. I picked her back up and held her on my shoulder that was so tired because that was her favorite place to be.  
At 2:30, I finally got the courage to put her down. We covered her up and kissed her head. I felt so guilty for leaving her there. They made me take her sloth because they didn’t want to lose it. All I could think about was her being so alone…. I noras storyknow she was gone but what kind of mother left her child alone. People tell you, you can’t blame yourself. Don’t feel guilty. There is nothing you could have changed. But really that isn’t true. If we had hindsight, we could change a lot. Unfortunately, we weren’t made that way. But these thoughts are why I cannot talk about her death. It brings up things that I can’t change.  
The last blow: Jeremy and I decided to have a research autopsy done on Nora due to the rarity of her cancer. We wanted to help anyone possible with this horrific disease. On Feb 21st, my phone rang with a number from Children’s. I wasn’t in the frame of mind to know who it was, so Jeremy answered. It was a call from Dr. B (Nora’s primary oncologist) stating her research autopsy would not be done. The reason… she tested positive for COVID over a week before she died. She was "symptomatic" (sneezing) for over a week before that (over 14 days had passed). Was she symptomatic when she passed, NO. Is Covid on her death certificate? NO. Dr. B tried to get it done for us. He called 10 hospitals. But 10 HOSPITALS REFUSED TO DO AN AUTOPSY BECAUSE SHE TESTED POSITIVE FOR A VIRUS. We are devastated by this. A virus that has a death rate of 0.01%.  
Let me put something into perspective. I watched a tumor board composed of neuro-oncology specialist AROUND THE WORLD, who came together to discuss ETMR. This cancer has around 900 documented cases, but only 600 of these are confirmed and the other 300 are likely duplicate cases. Of those 600, 67% have NO CLINICAL INFORMATION. 23% of these have NO MOLECULAR confirmation and ONLY 10 PERCENT HAVE COMPLETE TREATMENT AND OUTCOME RELATED DATA!!! THIS IS UNACCEPTABLE. With the information above, the hospitals who refused to do her autopsy completely squandered the opportunity to make advancements in this tumor type. Nora’s molecular analysis was incomplete due to lack of tumor tissue from her initial biopsy. This could have been done. More answers could have been obtained. Treatments studied. I doubt many parents make the decision to have a research autopsy done because that is anora's story hard choice to make once your BABY has died. But we wanted other babies to LIVE. Most of you know, I am in a unique position of understanding. This is the reason we started Princess Nora's Warrior Foundation. We are partnering with other foundations to make real, meaningful change. Please join us.  
This pic is the result of no change . . . We have to do better #etmrwarrior #forever14months #norastrong #morethan4 #PrincessNora #worldchangers #dobetter 
 
For more information, please check out our Impact Page.
For regular updates, please join our Newsletter.

Meet the Team

Katrina Withers - CEO

My name is Katrina Withers, Hot Springs Arkansas native, wife to my best friend and homeschool mom to 4 amazing, beautiful kids! I always just thought I would be a normal stay at home mom until Nora was born! I then became her Nanny Aunt Kate! Once Nora was diagnosed with cancer, I became her prayer warrior. When Nora ran into the arms of Jesus, I became her voice of change. She gave me a new purpose in life and that’s to tell her story, keep her legacy alive and change the world for her. I have had many titles, but none have given me a drive quite like the title she gave me. I am dedicated to making a difference for her and I refuse to let her down! This title is for you baby No No!

Jeremy McConathy - CTO

Jeremy McConathy, Husband to the wonderful Tiffany McConathy and father to Zane and the recently deceased Princess Nora.  I am a 13 year Air Force veteran now working in Information Technology.  Leading my family in Christ and pursuing a dream of change with funding and priority of pediatric cancer research as well as simply looking for ways to help others just like we were surrounded by love during Nora’s courageous battle with cancer.

Tiffany McConathy - COO and Director of Research

She  is an Arkansas native who attended nursing school at the local community college in 2011. She went on to complete her Bachelors and Master’s degree at the University of Central AR. Her time has been spent in adult oncology. She has been working at her current position as an APRN with Genesis Cancer Center since 2018. She completed her Advanced Oncology Nurse Practitioner Certification in Jan of 2020. 

She met her husband Jeremy while he was active duty in the US AirForce in 2012. They were married in 2013. They welcomed their son Zane into the world in Feb 2017 and their daughter Nora in December of 2020. In September of 2021, Nora developed right sided facial palsy and was subsequently diagnosed with ETMR (infantile brain cancer). She unfortunately passed in Feb of 2022. Tiffany is committed to changing the face of pediatric cancer. Mark 5:41

 

Nolen Long - CFO

Marissa Burton - Director of the Board

She is from Hot Springs, AR. She is a wife and mom to three boys, Max, Sam, and Wes. She has been a Kindergarten teacher for 11 years. She has worked with other local non-profits and is honored to be a part of this one. My hope for this foundation  is that we can raise awareness and funding to help children fighting pediatric cancer.

Dr. Sunil Kakadia, MD, MPH - Medical Director

Dr. Kakadia specializes in general hematology and oncology and aims to focus on genitourinary cancers. He completed his internal medicine residency at the University of North Dakota followed by a hematology oncology fellowship at the University of Arkansas for Medical Sciences. He has been practicing for more than seven years and will serve as Director of Research for Genesis Cancer and Blood Institute.Dr. Kakadia is passionate about improving quality of life and managing complex oncologic conditions. His approach to care is to get to know his patients and their families to help them understand the nature of their cancer condition.

Virginia Laliberte - Administrative Assistant

Virginia Laliberte is an Advanced Oncology Certified Nurse Practitioner who began her oncology nursing journey in 2013. As a young adult, Virginia went to Bible college to pursue her lifelong interest in being a secretary. However, life threw some curveballs at her and after having her two children, through the influence of her future husband, she wound up focusing her efforts towards nursing, a career which she had never even considered before, and graduated as a registered nurse in 2012. She discovered a passion for nursing initially and later for oncology and continued her pursuit of knowledge, completing a masters degree as a family nurse practitioner in 2018. She now devotes much of her spare time in various volunteer and secretarial roles, including a number of nurse practitioner and other oncology related organizations. Virginia became colleagues with Tiffany in 2018 and found that they shared a similar journey to their shared role in advanced oncology nursing, as well as a similar passion for oncology and mission-driven activities. She is married to Steven Laliberte, with whom she has raised their three teenage daughters and lives with her family in Hot Springs, AR.

 

Diona Simms

Diona is originally from Athens, Tennessee with her roots in florida. She is a mother of 3 and a Pediatric Nurse Practitioner. While taking time off to care for her children as a stay-at-home mother and wife, she also provides care for her grandparents. After experiencing cancer firsthand through her professional career and personally, she has always had a passion towards oncology. Diona followed Nora's journey shortly after her diagnosis, and quickly discovered the federal funding of pediatric cancer at only 4%. She knew this had to change. Having a personal connection with Nora McConathy's journey, she felt destined to help in any way she could. Diona felt that Nora and every child suffering through cancer deserves a fighting chance. When Diona was given the chance to join the foundation for Nora, she knew the lord was calling her to make a difference. Through her passion and drive to help children and their families, she is raising awareness of pediatric cancer and working to create change at the national level, as well as supporting various pediatric cancer organizations.

 

Heather Meseke

I am a native to Hot Springs, Arkansas. My husband, Chris, and I have two children. Our son, Cayden, is 11 and our daughter, Carsyn, is 8. We attend New Life Church with Jeremy and Tiffany. My background is in business administration and I obtained an MBA and worked in marketing and accounting before going into education and serving as a teacher for thirteen years. After retiring from education, my husband and I currently own two small businesses in our community, Meseke Insurance Agency and Sadowski Health Insurance Specialists, and have a passion to serve our community through this path the Lord has placed us on. My heart has always been drawn to helping children and Nora’s story is especially close to my heart, as we closely watched the McConathy family’s journey as our church family, their faith and their strength facing the unimaginable. I am honored and humbled to be able to be a small part of to build awareness, increase funding, and promote change in the area of childhood cancer, specifically ETMR. As a believer, I feel strongly we are called to be the hands and feet of Jesus and my heart is to help any way I can in this journey. I feel the greatest way we can honor Princess Nora is to help other families facing this same battle with change and hope.

 

Kristen Mack

Kristen has been married to husband Brandon since January 2010, they have one amazing little boy, Owen, who completed their family in February 2018 after many years of fertility treatments. She graduated from University of Arkansas in 2009 and became a Registered Nurse, working as a “float” person throughout the hospital, labor & delivery, and later ER & ICU. She later went back to school and graduated from Arkansas Tech University finally achieved her goal and began her calling as a Family Nurse Practitioner working in rural communities in 2016.

Her passion for Oncology began as a teenager, when she had a best friend diagnosed with Leukemia and she passed away. She followed Nora’s story from
the beginning of her story when she was diagnosed with tumors. Kristen believes Nora was responsible for reaching and changing a place in her heart that no one had been able to for many years and that Nora brought her to this foundation for big reasons.

Kristen loves spending time with her family, snuggling her dogs, painting, and listening to music.

Lynn McConathy

Lynn McConathy. I am happily married to Jesse McConathy for 3 years now and we have a son Oliver, whom we love so much! I’m originally from Rochester, New York, but I’ve lived in Texas for 10 years now and consider myself a proud Texan. I have a bachelors degree in Human Services and have worked for many non profits since graduation in May of 2010. The last two years before having my son, I was the front office coordinator for a local non profit in my town of Denton Texas. I now currently have the best job as a mom to my son! Getting this chance to help leave a legacy for my niece Nora is such an honor and I hope to do her proud! Nora girl, you are so loved! We will change the world! 

Kati Bazzell

A full-time mother of 3 fun-loving kiddos, Kati stays busy making memories, cleaning messes, and finding ways to give back to her community.  She has been involved in a variety of non-profit roles for over 20 years dating back to her high school years and has found her passion is in helping others and making a positive difference in the world around her.  She has always been drawn to improving the lives of children in particular and is so excited to have joined such a worthy foundation as this!  She looks forward to using her marketing background to advocate for changes that will enhance the lives of pediatric cancer patients everywhere.

Mackenzie Ludemann

My name is Mackenzie Ludemann. I am married to Jake and have two daughters, Jayci and Berklee, with another girl due in July. We live in a farmhouse in Iowa and enjoy being together, camping, and spending time with our horses. I’ve known the McConathy family since early 2021 when I met Tiffany through small shops. I have followed Nora’s journey closely while working on fundraisers and more for the family. My hope for this foundation is to connect other families with resources and supports to help beat childhood cancer. 

Aimee Hockett - Designer

My name is Aimee and I am a nutritionist turned web designer in Upstate, NY. I work primarily with health and wellness businesses to optimize their digital footprint. The way our patients experience how we educate and provide care through design and digital tools can make a major impact on the quality of our healthcare. I connected with Princess Nora’s Warrior Foundation through a mutual acquaintance and have become more dedicated to advocating for pediatric cancer research after hearing Nora’s story and developing the noraswarriors.com website. I am so grateful for the opportunity to honor her memory and help this incredible team make an impact on the lives of many children. Although I did not get the chance to meet Nora, she has changed my life forever and I will never stop fighting for her warriors.
To contact me about available design services, please visit my website: www.theakkitchen.com/design-services

Meet the Team

Katrina Withers - CEO

My name is Katrina Withers, Hot Springs Arkansas native, wife to my best friend and homeschool mom to 4 amazing, beautiful kids! I always just thought I would be a normal stay at home mom until Nora was born! I then became her Nanny Aunt Kate! Once Nora was diagnosed with cancer, I became her prayer warrior. When Nora ran into the arms of Jesus, I became her voice of change. She gave me a new purpose in life and that’s to tell her story, keep her legacy alive and change the world for her. I have had many titles, but none have given me a drive quite like the title she gave me. I am dedicated to making a difference for her and I refuse to let her down! This title is for you baby No No!

Jeremy McConathy - CTO

Jeremy McConathy, Husband to the wonderful Tiffany McConathy and father to Zane and the recently deceased Princess Nora.  I am a 13 year Air Force veteran now working in Information Technology.  Leading my family in Christ and pursuing a dream of change with funding and priority of pediatric cancer research as well as simply looking for ways to help others just like we were surrounded by love during Nora’s courageous battle with cancer.

Tiffany McConathy - COO and Director of Research

She  is an Arkansas native who attended nursing school at the local community college in 2011. She went on to complete her Bachelors and Master’s degree at the University of Central AR. Her time has been spent in adult oncology. She has been working at her current position as an APRN with Genesis Cancer Center since 2018. She completed her Advanced Oncology Nurse Practitioner Certification in Jan of 2020. 

She met her husband Jeremy while he was active duty in the US AirForce in 2012. They were married in 2013. They welcomed their son Zane into the world in Feb 2017 and their daughter Nora in December of 2020. In September of 2021, Nora developed right sided facial palsy and was subsequently diagnosed with ETMR (infantile brain cancer). She unfortunately passed in Feb of 2022. Tiffany is committed to changing the face of pediatric cancer. Mark 5:41

 

Nolen Long - CFO

Marissa Burton - Director of the Board

She is from Hot Springs, AR. She is a wife and mom to three boys, Max, Sam, and Wes. She has been a Kindergarten teacher for 11 years. She has worked with other local non-profits and is honored to be a part of this one. My hope for this foundation  is that we can raise awareness and funding to help children fighting pediatric cancer.

Dr. Sunil Kakadia MD, MPH - Medical Director

Dr. Kakadia specializes in general hematology and oncology and aims to focus on genitourinary cancers. He completed his internal medicine residency at the University of North Dakota followed by a hematology oncology fellowship at the University of Arkansas for Medical Sciences. He has been practicing for more than seven years and will serve as Director of Research for Genesis Cancer and Blood Institute. Dr. Kakadia is passionate about improving quality of life and managing complex oncologic conditions. His approach to care is to get to know his patients and their families to help them understand the nature of their cancer condition.

Virginia Laliberte - Administrative Assistant

Virginia Laliberte is an Advanced Oncology Certified Nurse Practitioner who began her oncology nursing journey in 2013. As a young adult, Virginia went to Bible college to pursue her lifelong interest in being a secretary. However, life threw some curveballs at her and after having her two children, through the influence of her future husband, she wound up focusing her efforts towards nursing, a career which she had never even considered before, and graduated as a registered nurse in 2012. She discovered a passion for nursing initially and later for oncology and continued her pursuit of knowledge, completing a masters degree as a family nurse practitioner in 2018. She now devotes much of her spare time in various volunteer and secretarial roles, including a number of nurse practitioner and other oncology related organizations. Virginia became colleagues with Tiffany in 2018 and found that they shared a similar journey to their shared role in advanced oncology nursing, as well as a similar passion for oncology and mission-driven activities. She is married to Steven Laliberte, with whom she has raised their three teenage daughters and lives with her family in Hot Springs, AR.

 

Diona Simms

Diona is originally from Athens, Tennessee with her roots in florida. She is a mother of 3 and a Pediatric Nurse Practitioner. While taking time off to care for her children as a stay-at-home mother and wife, she also provides care for her grandparents. After experiencing cancer firsthand through her professional career and personally, she has always had a passion towards oncology. Diona followed Nora's journey shortly after her diagnosis, and quickly discovered the federal funding of pediatric cancer at only 4%. She knew this had to change. Having a personal connection with Nora McConathy's journey, she felt destined to help in any way she could. Diona felt that Nora and every child suffering through cancer deserves a fighting chance. When Diona was given the chance to join the foundation for Nora, she knew the lord was calling her to make a difference. Through her passion and drive to help children and their families, she is raising awareness of pediatric cancer and working to create change at the national level, as well as supporting various pediatric cancer organizations.

 

Heather Meseke

I am a native to Hot Springs, Arkansas. My husband, Chris, and I have two children. Our son, Cayden, is 11 and our daughter, Carsyn, is 8. We attend New Life Church with Jeremy and Tiffany. My background is in business administration and I obtained an MBA and worked in marketing and accounting before going into education and serving as a teacher for thirteen years. After retiring from education, my husband and I currently own two small businesses in our community, Meseke Insurance Agency and Sadowski Health Insurance Specialists, and have a passion to serve our community through this path the Lord has placed us on. My heart has always been drawn to helping children and Nora’s story is especially close to my heart, as we closely watched the McConathy family’s journey as our church family, their faith and their strength facing the unimaginable. I am honored and humbled to be able to be a small part of to build awareness, increase funding, and promote change in the area of childhood cancer, specifically ETMR. As a believer, I feel strongly we are called to be the hands and feet of Jesus and my heart is to help any way I can in this journey. I feel the greatest way we can honor Princess Nora is to help other families facing this same battle with change and hope.

 

Lynn McConathy

Lynn McConathy. I am happily married to Jesse McConathy for 3 years now and we have a son Oliver, whom we love so much! I’m originally from Rochester, New York, but I’ve lived in Texas for 10 years now and consider myself a proud Texan. I have a bachelors degree in Human Services and have worked for many non profits since graduation in May of 2010. The last two years before having my son, I was the front office coordinator for a local non profit in my town of Denton Texas. I now currently have the best job as a mom to my son! Getting this chance to help leave a legacy for my niece Nora is such an honor and I hope to do her proud! Nora girl, you are so loved! We will change the world! 

Kristen Mack

Kristen has been married to husband Brandon since January 2010, they have one amazing little boy, Owen, who completed their family in February 2018 after many years of fertility treatments. She graduated from University of Arkansas in 2009 and became a Registered Nurse, working as a “float” person throughout the hospital, labor & delivery, and later ER & ICU. She later went back to school and graduated from Arkansas Tech University finally achieved her goal and began her calling as a Family Nurse Practitioner working in rural communities in 2016.

Her passion for Oncology began as a teenager, when she had a best friend diagnosed with Leukemia and she passed away. She followed Nora’s story from
the beginning of her story when she was diagnosed with tumors. Kristen believes Nora was responsible for reaching and changing a place in her heart that no one had been able to for many years and that Nora brought her to this foundation for big reasons.

Kristen loves spending time with her family, snuggling her dogs, painting, and listening to music.

Kati Bazzell

A full-time mother of 3 fun-loving kiddos, Kati stays busy making memories, cleaning messes, and finding ways to give back to her community.  She has been involved in a variety of non-profit roles for over 20 years dating back to her high school years and has found her passion is in helping others and making a positive difference in the world around her.  She has always been drawn to improving the lives of children in particular and is so excited to have joined such a worthy foundation as this!  She looks forward to using her marketing background to advocate for changes that will enhance the lives of pediatric cancer patients everywhere.

Mackenzie Ludemann

My name is Mackenzie Ludemann. I am married to Jake and have two daughters, Jayci and Berklee, with another girl due in July. We live in a farmhouse in Iowa and enjoy being together, camping, and spending time with our horses. I’ve known the McConathy family since early 2021 when I met Tiffany through small shops. I have followed Nora’s journey closely while working on fundraisers and more for the family. My hope for this foundation is to connect other families with resources and supports to help beat childhood cancer. 

Aimee Hockett - Web Designer

My name is Aimee and I am a nutritionist turned web designer in Upstate, NY. I work primarily with health and wellness businesses to optimize their digital footprint. The way our patients experience how we educate and provide care through design and digital tools can make a major impact on the quality of our healthcare. I connected with Princess Nora’s Warrior Foundation through a mutual acquaintance and have become more dedicated to advocating for pediatric cancer research after hearing Nora’s story and developing the noraswarriors.com website. I am so grateful for the opportunity to honor her memory and help this incredible team make an impact on the lives of many children. Although I did not get the chance to meet Nora, she has changed my life forever and I will never stop fighting for her warriors.
To contact me about available design services, please visit my website: www.theakkitchen.com/design-services