The Story Behind the Project

The Meningitis B Action Project was started by two mothers who each lost their young, healthy daughters too soon to a now vaccine-preventable disease, Meningitis B (known as MenB).


High school senior Kimberly Coffey, 17, died one week before her graduation. College sophomore Emily Stillman, 19, died just 36 hours after her first symptoms. 

In the case of Kimberly and Emily, while both had received the MenACWY vaccine, the MenB vaccine was not yet available to help protect them from MenB.

In 2014, to educate the public about meningococcal disease and MenB vaccination, Patti Wukovits and Alicia Stillman each established their own foundations named after their daughters. Learn more about The Kimberly Coffey Foundation (Facebook) and The Emily Stillman Foundation (Facebook).

Patti, a registered nurse, and Alicia, an accountant, have worked tirelessly over the last year to spread their message. Today, both mothers have joined forces under the Meningitis B Action Project to make sure other parents don’t needlessly suffer the same fate.

The objective of the Project is three-fold:

1. Arm parents and young adults with the information to proactively talk to their healthcare professional about MenB and the vaccine available to help prevent it.

2. Encourage the medical community and high school, college and university administrators to inform their patients and students about the MenB vaccine.

3. Engage policymakers to ensure broader access to the MenB vaccine. 

“If I didn’t know, I’m sure other people don’t know. I said to her that day, I’m going to figure this out. By educating both parents and students on Meningitis B, its symptoms, and the vaccine to stop it, we have the ability to save other young people from this deadly but preventable disease.”

- Alicia Stillman, mother of Emily Stillman and Co-Founder of the Meningitis B Action Project