The Melissa Duarte Foundation

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"Some people come into our lives and quickly go. Some stay for a while and leave footprints on our hearts, and we are never, ever the same."


The Melissa Duarte Foundation is a non-profit charity, founded September 1996. The primary goal of the foundation is to increase awareness of meningococcal disease.

Our mission is to educate families, individuals and others about bacterial meningitis and prevention approaches to the disease. 

In particular, we want to raise awareness and protection among parents and young adults, many of whom can be protected through education and vaccination efforts.

If you visit Missy’s site, and have experience “our loss”, we offer our deepest sympathy. We are here to talk to you, write to you  and cry with you. 

Read Missy’s story......... we hope you smile with us............

Our Goals


To help educate families, and others about the dangers of bacterial meningitis and prevention approaches to the disease;


To offer assistance to parents, families and others who have suffered a similar loss.


To support our local students with scholarships and awards helping them to reach their goals.


To provide you with current facts and knowledge help ensure every child is offered protection from meningococcal disease through vaccination programs;





  • about Bacterial Meningitis
  • about prevention
  • about vaccines available
  • about your "state's" laws in regards to immunizations

Please, please, please, read, through this web-site educate yourselves. Bacterial Meningitis is a silent killer.

What we do.........

Our Approach
Educate, educate, educate........ all of you

Explore how we support Missy's "dream" of being a Missy's story.




About Meningococcal Disease

Meningococcal disease is a serious, potentially fatal bacterial infection that strikes an average of 1,500 Americans annually. In particular, adolescents and young adults are at increased risk of contracting meningococcal disease.

How Much Do You Know?


The number of meningococcal disease cases changes from year to year. From 1998 to 2007, about 1,500 Americans were infected each year, with a range of 900 to 3,000 cases. 11% of those infected will die. Adolescents and young adults have an increased incidence of meningococcal disease, accounting for 15 percent of all cases. One out of seven cases among adolescents will result in death.

Among those who survive meningococcal disease, approximately 20 percent suffer long-term consequences, such as brain damage, kidney disease, hearing loss or limb amputations.

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