Most charitable organizations are founded with a promise or a pledge and in one case, a pinky swear.
Since its 2003 beginnings in Minnesota, Pinky Swear Foundation has been helping kids with cancer and their families by providing more than $4.5 million in financial assistance and quality of life support to thousands of families whose children are bravely battling the ugliness of cancer.
And it all began with a pinky-swear promise. Before nine-year-old Mitch Chepokas died from bone cancer, his father Steve locked pinkies with his son and vowed to continue helping children with cancer and their families by providing immediate needs support and unique family programs.
Pinky Swear Foundation was born.
Pinky Swear Foundation eases the financial and emotional impacts experienced by children with cancer and their families
by providing basic needs support during a very challenging time. Cancer is not a one-day thing. It is hard to imagine what life is like to have a child going through cancer; it affects the whole family. That's why its programs are so important. They do not limit requests from families, nor discriminate on socioeconomic status. When cancer enters life, the simple, everyday things aren’t so simple anymore.
The reality is, the average age of diagnosis of a pediatric cancer patient is 6. The length of treatment Is typically two years and one parent almost always has to leave work, while 25 percent of a family’s disposable income is spent on non-medical associated costs. Ultimately, one in eleven families going through a cancer diagnosis will file for bankruptcy.
Pinky Swear Foundation Charlotte has helped more than 180 families in North Carolina, many of whom live in Charlotte and whose kids are being treated at Levine Children’s Hospital and Hemby Children’s Hospital. Pinky Swear Foundation
serves families at all seven pediatric oncology units in North Carolina and there are over 1,100 children in North Carolina
currently fighting cancer.
“This is a huge blessing as my husband and I have had to take off quite a bit of work at the onset of this diagnosis,” one
grateful mother told Pinky Swear Foundation. “My husband is back full time so my work hours have been cut drastically. This is a great blessing to ensure that we can stay in our home. God bless you and this great organization.”
But what’s better than an organization who helps these families? An organization that also encourages local children to make their own pinky promises to help their peers battling cancer.
On June 2, Pinky Swear Foundation Charlotte held its annual kids triathlon. More than 280 participants ages 6-18 gathered in Davidson and raised $63,324 to benefit local families battling pediatric cancer.