About the Swifty Foundation

The Swifty Foundation was founded by Michael Gustafson before his death at age 15 to give his short life meaning. Since his dream of becoming a scientist wasn’t possible, he wanted to help scientists help other children beat this devastating disease. Focused on eradicating pediatric brain cancer, Swifty has three highly focused initiatives:

Post-Mortem Tissue Donation

Since Michael’s death and decision to donate his brain and spine to research, Swifty has heard again and again from researchers about the dire need for donated post-mortem brain tissue to study. Even when funding for research is available, without tissue, the hands of medical researchers are tied. This remains one of the largest obstacles toward finding a cure, and Swifty is determined to remove this barrier through our Gift from a Child initiative.

GFAC partners with the Children’s Brain Tumor Tissue Consortium, the world’s largest pediatric brain tumor research network. There are five Centers of Excellence that act as regional sites for the coordination, processing and storage of donated tissue. The five sites are: CHOP, Lurie, Children’s National, Stanford and NY Presbyterian Hospital-Weill Cornell Medicine.

Facilitating Collaboration

We are working at facilitating collaboration in the field of childhood cancer research: collaboration between the many foundations funding pediatric cancer research, collaboration among research institutions and collaboration between researchers. Historically, research has been funded using a model based on competition. That funding model must change to gain momentum toward finding a cure.

Funding Medulloblastoma Research

Swifty funds several promising recurrent medulloblastoma research projects. This is the disease Michael succumbed to and it has a dismal and unacceptable 5 percent survival rate.

At a Glance

The Swifty Foundation’s mission is to raise funds and awareness for pediatric brain cancer research.

Just prior to his 15th birthday Michael announced his Master Plan. ” I am going to give up my life in order to see if we can find a cure.” Watch the video

We have raised over $4.4 Million and put it to work!

Download our Impact Reports: 2020, 2019, 2018, 2017 and 2016.

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Statements & Media Packages

Pediatric cancer research is vastly and consistently underfunded. An estimated 250,000+ new cases of cancer affect children under the age of 20 worldwide each and every year. The numbers and impact are staggering. Check out the infographic for more childhood cancer facts.

The gift of a post-mortem tissue donation benefits other children diagnosed with a pediatric brain tumor and can provide families with hope and consolation during a time of loss. Thanks to the Swifty Foundation, a new program was created by the Children’s Brain Tumor Tissue Consortium to empower patients and families in the discovery of better treatments and cures for pediatric brain cancers.

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