Gifts that Benefit You and Swifty

Swifty invites you to explore year-end gift giving options that are good for you and good for pediatric brain cancer research! Donating Your IRA Distributions Some of our more “seasoned” donors have found that giving a gift directly from their IRA is an easy and efficient way to support Swifty. Individuals who are 70 ½…

Collaborative Centers of Excellence

Establishing a Swifty funded tissue navigator in Dr. Monje’s lab at Stanford completes a coast-to-coast network that began in 2016 when Swifty helped start the post mortem tissue donation program at the Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia (CHOP). Last week I told you how the tissue navigator will allow Dr. Monje to focus more of her…

California Dream

Today is Michael’s birthday and the kickoff of Swifty’s Annual Appeal, and so I’d like to tell you about our California Dream. It’s a dream that takes us to Michelle Monje’s lab at Stanford … I’m going to get all STEM on you now, so get ready! You may remember from past years, that Michael’s…

Memories From Cross Country

In seventh grade cross country, our coaches assigned everyone with the task of running at least 30 minutes a day over the weekend. On a Saturday morning, I was running along, and I see a dad and his son slowly jogging towards me. I get closer and realize it’s my classmate, Michael Gustafson. I didn’t…

CBTTC Pediatric Brain Tumor Atlas

You may have missed this announcement; lost in the shuffle of Childhood Cancer Awareness Month. Maybe you saw the announcement and didn’t quite understand the importance of the launch. The Pediatric Brain Tumor Atlas  is a major step forward in advancing collaboration and accelerating research. We are proud to be part of this organization and…

I Want To Talk About Michael

Wow, I cannot believe that Childhood Cancer Awareness Month is finally coming to a close! Most of you know that helping kids with cancer is the passion that fuels every decision I make and action I take. I am years away from (hopefully) becoming a pediatric oncologist, but I have the power to advocate and…

Cancer is a Journey, Not a Battle

I cringe every time I read or hear someone is “fighting cancer or battling cancer”. This language implies a war, which means there is a winner and a loser. I’m betting you know someone who died from cancer and you also know that person was anything but a loser. I realize it’s difficult to know…

When I Think of Michael

When I think of Michael, many of the images I have of him are often frozen in the seventh grade. That school year, by some stroke of luck, he, Bridget and I all had lockers next to each other. Everyday when I got to my locker, I could always count on Michael to greet me…

The Misleading Statistics

When I hear 90% cure rate for childhood cancers I want to scream or possibly throw up!  That stat is SO misleading.  That stat is talking about surviving 5 years.   Living with cancer for five years IS NOT CURING cancer!  Especially if you are 6 years old when you are diagnosed.  This steers research…

Reflections On My Hike

In the summer of 2015, before starting my third year at Pomona College, I decided to hike the Pacific Crest Trail. More specifically, I decided that a long walk along the western geological spine of the continental United States from Mexico to Canada was a goal that could not be left to slowly erode over…