Why Swifty matters?

As a Kennedy Junior High school counselor, I have met hundreds of families and thousands of students! My first introduction to the Gustafson Family began with Ian. He proved to be a fabulous student and a kind, caring young man! Then along came Michael and Bridget…of course, I had heard about Michael’s cancer diagnosis and…

Our Class of 2020

In the past, May always meant tulips, breaking out the lawn furniture and graduations. Covid-19 hasn’t stopped the tulips or kept us from sitting outside (albeit 6 feet apart), but for the Class of 2020 graduations have been cancelled or hopefully, only postponed. In the meantime, there is a lot of sadness, disappointment and uncertainty…

Light That Seeps Through a Broken Heart

I can’t tell you how often people are dumbfounded on how I can so enjoy working with a pediatric brain cancer foundation, especially one focused on post-mortem tissue donation. I guess they imagine the sadness and loss that these families endure and assume it permeates their lives and my work. That couldn’t be further from…

Growing During Isolation – And the smell of fresh baked bread!

Fear, uncertainty, disruption, crisis these are the words swirling around us these days. It’s hard not give in to despair. I can’t stop this virus, however I can share what I learned while caring for my son, Michael when he was stuck at home sick with cancer.

Love and Comfort in the Final Days

If I had a choice, I would be an “expert” on how the brain works, American history or songs from the 70’s. Unfortunately, I have just a little knowledge of those interesting topics. I do however have experience in losing a child to cancer, not a topic anyone would ever sign up to learn about….

Dear Silas

Dear Silas, I want you to know your very last wish is happening right now. There is a team of researchers, doctors, and specialists who have assembled. They are working to make a difference in the world of brain cancer. I don’t think any of us could have imagined the impact your donation will have….

Prairie Elementary School Raises Over $4,000

Hi everyone my name is Betsy, I want to share the importance of pediatric cancer and why it should get more attention. People say the money should be spent on research for adults, what they don’t realize is that kids become adults. But that can’t happen if they are dying from cancer because their drug…

She Did Not Lose Her Battle

We recently shared this blog from Libby Kranz on our Gift from a Child website.  Libby Kranz is one of our partners in Gift from a Child. She was kind enough to share her thoughts and and the recording of an emotional interview she granted to a local TV station about the loss of her…

We Just Don’t Know

Today, I had to explain how cancer works to my Biology 101 students. I had to tell them how cells can find ways to bypass the checkpoints that are meant to protect us. I had to tell them how a single mutation can cause a tumor to begin forming. I had to tell them how…

A Dream You Dream Together

I never knew the truth of this quote by John Lennon until now: A dream you dream alone is only a dream. A dream you dream together is reality. Our California Dream became reality when through your generous support we were able to fund Michelle Monje’s tissue navigator at Stanford and also fund the next…