Pinky Swear Foundation Overview
In the Mid 2000’s, the Office of Inspector General deemed it inappropriate for hospitals to provide quality of life support to families. It was viewed as an “inducement.” This ruling created a giant hole with a lack of such supports for kids with cancer and their families.
Childhood cancer has risen 29% in the last 20 years. The average age of diagnosis is 6 years old and the average length of treatment is 2 years. Finally, 1 in 11 families with a child diagnosed with cancer will file for bankruptcy.
The Pinky Swear Foundation helps alleviate some of the financial and emotional burden put on families that have a child going through cancer treatment. Our envelope program grants money for things like mortgage payments, rent payments, utility bills, food, gas, transportation and much more. We work directly with the social workers at local oncology hospitals to help identify the needs of a patient family throughout the grant application process.
The Pinky Swear Story
Mitch was nine years old when he was diagnosed with bone cancer. When he was in the hospital, he overheard the family next to him having a discussion that there would not be enough money for Christmas that year. Mitch looked at his dad and said, “This isn’t fair. How much money do I have in the bank?” His Dad, Steve, replied that he wasn’t sure, but they could find out. Mitch insisted that they go get it.
Steve helped Mitch into his wheelchair and took him to the bank. Mitch withdrew all the money he had in his savings account and put it in envelopes for the kids on the pediatric oncology floor at the hospital. He signed each envelope, “Love Mitch, XOXOXO.”
Steve and Mitch returned to the hospital and delivered the envelopes by putting them on nightstands, under doors and on beds. As they were leaving the last room, Mitch exclaimed to his dad, “Dad, that is the most fun I have ever had! Let’s do it again next year!”
Steve sadly replied, “Mitch you are probably not going to be here next year.” Unfortunately, Mitch’s prognosis was not good. Mitch asked his dad to do it again next year and Steve agreed.
Mitch looked at his father and said, “Dad, promise me you will keep helping kids with cancer! Pinky swear with me that you will do it forever!”
Steve did a pinky swear with Mitch to help kids with cancer as long as he lives. Mitch passed away on April 11 the following spring. The Pinky Swear Foundation was formed. We exist today because of that pinky swear.
Register for the Hy-Vee Pinky Swear Kids Triathlon!
July 11, 2015
Raccoon River Park
West Des Moines
Kids ages 6-18 will participate in a Swim, Bike, and Run course. These kids will also raise money for kids with cancer and their families throughout Central Iowa.
Register for the Hy-Vee 5K Family Fun Run!
July 12, 2015
Facebook: Pinky Swear Des Moines