Crazy Beard to Cure Pediatric Brain Cancer

The Crazy Beard Campaign is back for an eighth year. And again this year, together we’re supporting the incredible folks at The Swifty Foundation to find a cure to pediatric brain cancer!

Campaign Goal:

Amount Raised:

125% of Goal

A Bit About The Swifty Foundation

The Swifty Foundation began with Michael Gustafson who was diagnosed with brain cancer at the age of 10. Shortly after his diagnosis, Michael began fundraising for cancer research and recruited his friends to help. At the end of Michael’s battle, with the help of his parents Patti and Al, he started the Swifty Foundation.

The Swifty Foundation now focuses on finding a cure for pediatric brain cancer in three ways:

  1. Promoting post-mortem tissue donation to improve research
  2. Improving collaboration among organizations and researchers working to cure pediatric cancer
  3. Funding research of recurrent medulloblastoma

When Michael was nearing his 15th birthday, his mom recorded this video in a restaurant parking lot. By this point, Michael already knew he wasn’t going to beat brain cancer for himself. But he could beat it for someone else. In the video, Michael lays out what he called his “Master Plan” — to become a tissue donor in hopes of finding a cure.

The Backstory of the Crazy Beard Campaign

When November rolled around seven years ago, I had a nasty playoff beard on my face (thanks to the Cardinals). It seemed like a waste to just shave it off. So instead, after a bit of encouragement from friends, I decided to donate my face to charity.

And for the last seven years you all have blown me away. The outpouring of generosity and love has been overwhelming. Together these last seven years, we’ve raised over $12,500 to do a whole lot of good.

This year, let’s do it again and help find a cure for pediatric brain cancer.

The Growth

Here’s the deal – I’m going to grow my beard for the rest of November. At that point it’ll be shaggy, nasty, and ready to be molded in whatever crazy pattern you can dream up.

The Shave

At the end of November, I’m going to shave this gnarly beard into some crazy design. That’s where you come in. Everyone that donates to this campaign will be entered into a random drawing. No donation is too small. If you give, you’re in the running. On December 1st I’ll select one donor at random to pick how I shave my beard. As long as what you suggest isn’t offensive, I’m in.

Here are the past designs for inspiration:

2012 Beard
Here’s the original lightning design from 2012 (courtesy of Ms. Liz Stapleton Wheeler)
2013 Beard
And 2013’s patchy mess (thanks to the man, the myth, the legend Phil Sholts)
2014 Beard
And here are the starburns of 2014 (dreamed up by the visionary known as Molly Needelman)
2015 Beard
And then in 2015 we introduced glitter into the mix (thanks to the one and only Michael Rosen)
2016 Beard
In 2016, my own father got in on the action by keeping things simple but ensuring I’d get plenty of double takes

2017 Crazy Beard
Marie Batty made sure 2017 was all about the neck beard
And last year, Caleb Bradley, my own brother, made me wear this nonsense on a pre-school tour

Every Donor Adds Time

The number of donations will determine how long after November I wear the crazy beard around town. For each person that donates, I’ll wear the beard for an additional hour. So 24 donors means an additional day. 168 donors would be a full week. It’s up to you all.

I’ll wear it to work. I’ll wear it out to dinner. And the whole time I’m wearing the beard, I’ll change my Facebook photo to showcase its glory. That way you can see it if you aren’t around St. Louis.

If you’re ready to be part of the movement to find a cure for pediatric brain cancer, please fill out the donate form below. Thanks so much for reading and for your continued interest year after year. You all are the best.

– David