Without post-mortem tissue donation from children who lose their lives to brain cancer, we’ll never know enough about the disease. But donating isn’t easy.

A new program in Philadelphia is changing that, requiring just two things from families who wish to donate tissue:

Written consent before the time of death

One phone call at the time of death

Here’s how Swifty, the Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia (CHOP) and the Children’s Brain Tumor Tissue Consortium (CBTTC) have partnered to solve the problem of donation:

1. Tell Families It’s An Option.

  • Research.
    Interview current patients, families and care providers to learn when and how we can most lovingly present donation as an option.

  • Communicate.
    Develop the right messaging and materials to explain donation to future patients and families.

  • Train.
    Educate medical professionals and social workers on how to talk about donation with children and their families.

2. Make donating easy.

3. Multiply Results.

Year One: Piloting the above improvements at CHOP is expected to increase tissue donations by 1000%.

Year Two: Sharing improvements and training with CBBTC’s other member hospitals will multiply results across the country – and the world.

This means more and better data for researchers – which means better treatments for children diagnosed with brain cancer in the future.

And that means a measure of comfort for families who’ve lost kids to pediatric cancer. We should know. We’re one of them.