Swifty and Gift from a Child…Together Toward Hope. It’s amazing how it’s all come together. Michael’s Master Plan of donating his tissue to science to find cures, became Swifty’s Master Plan when we discovered there was no national, coordinated effort to get this precious gift into researchers’ labs. The only way to develop that program was together.


So, we found the best biorepository with open-access sharing. We gathered families who also lost a child to brain cancer, and the best researchers/clinicians around the country who were already helping families donate locally. We nurtured relationships, hammered out logistics, developed workflows, overcame obstacles and eventually Gift from a Child was born. GFAC is a network of seven  Centers of Excellence around the country. These seven centers act as regional autopsy sites for the coordination, processing and storage of autopsied materials as well as generating preclinical models of the disease. Those donations are now stored at the Children’s Brain Tumor Network, where researchers from around the country can access the tissue and related data. Research can then be done that will generate better treatments for children suffering with brain cancer.

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

The impact of Michael’s gift and the gifts of Swifty supporters continue to create a tidal wave of impact. It’s time to celebrate and invite you to help us keep the ripples rolling.

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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