“What we do for ourselves dies with us. What we do for others and the world remains and is immortal.”


Our family loves this quote because it reminds us that Michael is still with us.  Little did we know that Michael’s wish to donate his post-mortem tissue would one day become a national program fueling research across the country. One small wish creating a tidal wave of impact.


That impact is Gift from a Child: a Swifty initiative that educates families about the need for post-mortem tissue and creates the infrastructure to make this precious donation possible anywhere in the country. Gift from a Child provides researchers with the tissue they need to find cures for brain cancer and gives families hope … that they can prevent other families from experiencing a similar loss.


Patti Gustafson, Michael’s mom (Executive Director)

Michael's Story

Before his death at 15, Michael Gustafson hatched what he called his "master plan" - and laid the foundation for what Swifty does today.

Gift from a Child

Tissue donation is a contribution that improves outcomes for children with brain cancer that only families can make.

Recurrent Medulloblastoma

When medulloblastoma recurs, doctors have no established treatment plan for patients. None. We’re working to change that.

Once you choose HOPE, anything is possible

Together we’re moving toward hope one initiative at a time.

Brain cancer has overtaken leukemia as the leading cause of cancer-related death for children. The reason children succumb to their cancer will remain a mystery until researchers are able to study both the diseased and healthy brain tissue of those children who do not survive their disease.
Fundraise For Swifty

Disturbing Facts About Childhood Cancer

Childhood cancer is the leading cause of death BY DISEASE for children in the U.S. …. It exceeds deaths by all other diseases combined. Only 4 pennies of every FEDERAL dollar available for cancer research goes to fund PEDIATRIC cancer research.

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How is brain cancer different in kids?

All brain tumors can change in response to cancer treatment – but this is especially true for kids, whose bodies are growing and changing anyway. You could be diagnosed with one type of cancer, but have a very different type years later.

To improve treatments, researchers need to better understand the ways kids’ cancers change and transform over time. This means studying as much donated tissue as possible, from as many cancer stages as possible.
But it’s often difficult for families to donate tissue for research – and when they do donate, it’s difficult for researchers to share their findings widely. Swifty is helping to change that.

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Recent Blog Posts

Together Toward Hope

Curefest 2021

A beautiful fall weekend in Washington DC was the perfect setting for this year’s Curefest for Childhood Cancer. Curefest is an incredible, impactful event, being one of the world’s largest gatherings of families, advocates, and researchers all looking toward a brighter future of hope and better treatment for childhood cancer. After missing the opportunity to…

October 7, 2021

Oncoheroes Biosciences And Swifty Foundation United Toward New Cures

RELEASE FROM ONCOHEROES BIOSCIENCES Childhood cancer is considered a rare disease that accounts for about 1% of all U.S cancers. However, childhood cancer is not just one disease – there are more than 12 major types of pediatric cancers and over 100 subtypes. Although pediatric cancer death rates have declined over the past four decades…

September 16, 2021

Clean Business and Green Investments

Over the last 12 weeks, we’ve explored the good and the bad in our homes, schools, and businesses, and we’ve explored actions we can take in our everyday lives to keep childhood cancer prevention on the forefront. We’re now shifting gears to look at investments in clean business practices as a way of prevention, and…

July 13, 2021