Improving Collaboration

Learning, Leading and Working Together

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

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

Four Pennies

Four Pennies is a fundraising model that childhood cancer foundations can use to raise money together. The federal government only allocates four pennies of every dollar available for cancer research to childhood cancer research. This model strives to highlight that dismal fact.

Eric Montgomery’s 2018 hike of the Pacific Crest Trail was the inaugural Four Pennies campaign. The Swifty Foundation, Pediatric Brain Tumor Foundation, Dragon Master Foundation and the Kortney Rose Foundation raised 4 pennies for each of Eric’s steps on the 2659 mile trail. More than $170,000 was raised for the Open DIPG project, a pediatric brain tumor research project.


Gift from a Child

Gift from a Child is a Swifty-led national initiative supported by families who have lost children to brain cancer, private foundations, researchers and medical professionals. Gift from a Child’s mission is to increase postmortem pediatric brain tissue donations through advocacy as well as the education of families enduring the worst … the loss of a child. Swifty is grateful for the work of GFAC’s core leadership:

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 has served as the liaison between the CBTTC Executive Committee and the 15 foundations that make up the Advisory Council.

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. In 2017, 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..

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. Our work with them includes a research paper on post-mortem tissue donation and pediatric cancer research that shaped our focus and strategy.

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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