Post-Mortem Tissue Collection

When it’s easier for families to donate tissue, and easy for researchers to access tissue, we move Together Toward Hope. That’s the idea behind Swifty’s tissue donation initiatives. With your help, we’re improving the quality of pediatric brain cancer research step by step.

Three efforts Swifty is currently supporting to improve the quality and quantity of tissue donation are highlighted below.

The CBTTC Post-Mortem Tissue Donation Program
Grant Award: $300,000/2 years

Since 2016, Swifty has partnered with the Children’s Brain Tumor Tissue Consortium (CBTTC ), a consortium of 15 children’s hospitals from around the world, on a program that could rewrite the rules on how cancerous brain tissue is donated for research after death, allowing more families to make voluntary tissue donations than ever before.

Because of the program:

  • It’s easier for families. Families are informed and invited, and only need to contribute two things: written consent to become tissue donors and a single phone call at the time of a child’s death to initiate the process. Donating is free for families and has no effect on funeral arrangements or on the possibility of open-casket funerals for those who want them.
  • It’s efficient for technicians. The necessary autopsy tech, pathologist and lab tech are all on call and available to coordinate with funeral homes to collect and process donated tissue quickly.
  • Results are multiplied. CBTTC shares tissue data openly with researchers through its database.

To learn more about this program, call (833)879-5983 or email 

For a visual summary of how the Post-Mortem Tissue Donation Program works, click here for an infographic

Tissue Navigator at Lurie Children’s Hospital
Grant Award: $300,000/3 years

Starting in early 2018, Lurie Children’s Hospital of Chicago will add a first-of-its-kind Tissue Navigator position to its pediatric cancer staff with Swifty’s support. This person will educate patients, families and staff about the value of tissue donation; assist patients and families with the logistics related to tissue donation; and coordinate tissue donations from other local and regional centers without formal donation programs.

Our ultimate aim is to replicate this position at large children’s research hospitals across the country. is a website we created that provides the free download of a video, produced by Swifty Foundation, that explains the need for pediatric brain cancer post-mortem tissue donation. The video offers the scientific and familial reasons why post-mortem tissue collection is so valuable. Institutions downloading the video are welcome to include their own institutional branding to serve the purposes of their mission.

In time, will include personal testimonials from families who have chosen post-mortem tissue donation, as well as a library of research made possible through post-mortem donation.

Swifty needs your help to make programs like these continue to happen.

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