Improving Collaboration

When researchers learn from one another and foundations partner with one another, we move Together Toward Hope. That’s the idea behind Swifty’s collaboration initiatives. With your help, we’re improving the quality and pace of pediatric cancer research day by day.

Here are some ways Swifty is working to make research more collaborative:

Children’s Brain Tumor Tissue Consortium (CBTTC)

Since beginning our partnership with CBTTC on the Post-Mortem Tissue Donation Program in 2016, Swifty’s involvement with the consortium has continued to grow.

Why? The consortium provides free and open access research data aimed specifically at curing pediatric brain cancer. Its massive database of bio-data is ambitious, innovative, and an essential tool for collaboration among pediatric brain cancer researchers.

In addition to sponsoring the Post-Mortem Tissue Program, Swifty is a member of CBTTC’s Advisory Council and Al Gustafson serves as the liaison between the CBTTC Executive Committee and the 15 foundations that make up the Advisory Council.

Learning, Leading and Working Together

Swifty is helping to build a more collaborative and innovative cancer community. We recognize there is so much we don’t know and can’t do on our own, and therefore we make it a priority to find many ways to partner with other pediatric cancer foundations. There is so much more we can do together!

Swifty’s collaborators include:


Alex’s Lemonade Stand (ALS)
We are currently co-funding two Young Investigator research grants with ALS. With one of the best scientific advisory committees of any private foundation, ALS vets the best research proposals and seeks funding from smaller foundations to help them maximize the number of research grants funded each year. Learn more about the two research grants we co-funded at University of Colorado and The Johns Hopkins University Med School


Coalition Against Childhood Cancer (CAC2)
We are one of the 100-plus members that make up CAC2. These childhood cancer organizations benefit from leveraging the unique strengths of the members and minimizing the waste of precious resources and expertise.  We attend educational webinars and symposiums hosted by CAC2, as well as participate in vital advocacy programs initiated by member organizations.


KidsvCancer helped us through the process of donating Michael’s tissue back in 2013. We have had the pleasure of learning from and helping each other on many initiatives. This past summer, our Junior Board member Kira Couch interned with KidsvCancer as an advocate on Capitol Hill, helping to push the Race For Kids Act into law.


Dragon Master Foundation
We are working together on a resource to help families become good stewards of their child’s tissue from diagnosis through treatment.


Pediatric Brain Tumor Foundation (PBTF)
PBTF’s Starfolio is a free toolkit designed to help families of newly diagnosed brain tumor patients partner with their child’s healthcare team and to organize medical information during treatment. We are helping them add information on tissue donation to the Starfolio. We also participate in PBTF’s annual conference.


Institute of Clinical Bioethics (ICB)
As the academic research center of Saint Joseph’s University, the ICB’s faculty and fellows actively carry on interdisciplinary research projects and regularly team up with Swifty to explore cutting-edge issues in pediatric cancer research. In 2015, the Institute Director, two Fellows and one Mercy Medical Resident published a research paper on post-mortem tissue donation and pediatric cancer research that shaped our focus and strategy.

Fellows from ICB are currently working with Swifty to assess the current benchmark used for pediatric cancer survival. Currently, both adult and children cancer survival is based on living five years from diagnosis. Is this an ethical benchmark? The average age of an adult diagnosis is 65, while the average age of a child’s diagnosis is just 8 years old. Why does living to 13 years old define surviving cancer?


Kids First Pediatric Data Resource Center (DRC)
DRC is a new collaborative effort funded by the National Institutes of Health Common Fund to discover the causes of pediatric cancer and structural birth defects through the use of big data. Swifty Foundation has participated in the launch and framework developing sessions offering the perspective of families and foundations as the DRC is designed and developed.


With efforts like the ones above, together we are moving toward a better future for our children. But it only happens with the help of individual supporters like you.

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