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Jenna Bush Hager shares loss of young family friend for important reason

The star is a mom-of-three

jenna bush hager
Hannah Hargrave
Hannah HargraveUS Deputy Editor
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Jenna Bush Hager has been inundated with support and thanks after sharing the story of the death of someone very special to her family. 

The Today host took to Instagram with an emotional post detailing the heartbreaking death of 16-year-old Penny, who Jenna described as "one of my girls' favorite friends".

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Alongside a post featuring a photo of the teen, and the inspirational quote: "Spread your wings, shine your light. What is truly important is your wingspan, not your lifespan," which promoted the foundation, Penny's Flight, Jenna wrote: "So proud of my incredible friends Kate @doergek and Chad—who started this amazing organization inspired by their beautiful Penny (one of my girls’ favorite friends—who we miss!) @pennysflight — link in bio #spreadyourwings #shineyourlight #nfresearch #pennysflighto."

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Her fans thanked her for sharing the post and commented: "Thank you for sharing Pennys story and spreading her wings for research. She was a beautiful girl and forever will be in our hearts."

Penny's mom added: "Thank you so much for helping us spread Penny’s wings and raising awareness for critical funds need for NF research."

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The website, www.pennysflight.org, detailed Penny's lifelong battle with neurofibromatosis (NF1).  She died on 10 November 2022, but not without a fight. 

View post on Instagram
 

Jenna shared the foundation which has been set up in honor of the teen who died

"Penny was a model of resilience, positivity and courage," the site reads: "Diagnosed with neurofibromatosis (NF1) as an infant, Penny never let this define her or hold her back. She lived her life “Walking on Sunshine”, in the words of her favorite song.

"Penny made an impact everywhere she went by shining her bright light. She was an inspiration and a teacher to people of all ages.

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"Penny is the daughter of Chad and Kate Doerge who created the Penny’s Flight Foundation shortly after Penny’s death in November 2022.  

jenna bush hager children© Photo: Instagram

Jenna said Penny was adored by her children and the whole family 

The Foundation was created to advance medical research in NF1 and its related disorders, and to inspire others to live with positivity and humor and find the beauty and joy in all situations."

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