The Nico (and Bret) Stetka Education Fund

Over the last few (impossible, surreal) days, many of you have asked — so kindly — if there’s somewhere you can make a donation in Bret’s memory. Bret was brilliant, a true intellectual, a neuroscientist, someone who thought and wrote so deeply and intensely about humankind. From the moment Nico arrived, he was gearing up to teach his daughter everything he knew, and he knew everything: how to play drums and guitar and piano, how to make jokes, how our brains and bodies work, what stars are, how to tie her little shoes, how to roast a chicken, how to plant a garden, how to love freely and purely and without expectation. He couldn’t wait for her to start learning about all the wild and beautiful miracles of the world. I’ve set up a 529 fund for Nico’s education, which she will be able to access later on for whatever kind of school she chooses; my family and I are asking that in lieu of flowers etc. any donations be directed to her there, via GoFundMe. For something more formal, it’s also possible to mail a check directly to the financial manager who will be handling The Nico Stetka Fund. Please message me if you’d like that info, and please share this with anyone I might not be directly connected with on here. Bret’s world was so vast, and I’m only beginning to see the edges of it. This is not what I thought motherhood would be, and it is still hard to think about a future. Yet I also desperately want to say that I’ve been overwhelmed, in the most unexpected and profound way, by the love and generosity Nico and I have already received — from friends and colleagues and people I’ve known all my life, from people I’ve met or interviewed once or twice, from people I knew online, from people I don’t know at all. I feel you holding this with me, and it helps. It really, really, really, really helps. I am buoyed when I should be sinking. I love you. Thank you.
  • Douglas McQuaid 
    • $500 
    • 2 d
  • Matthew Klam 
    • $50 
    • 8 d
  • bill ferrell 
    • $100 
    • 15 d
  • Jeffrey Wechselblatt 
    • $25 
    • 16 d
  • Jesse Montero 
    • $500 
    • 25 d
See all


Amanda Petrusich 
Forsonville, NY

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