3 Ways to Fundraise for Project Open DIPG This Summer

After braving deserts, mountains, forests and even snow, our fearless Four Pennies hiker has crossed the finish line! Congratulations, Eric, on completing your trek of the Pacific Crest Trail from Mexico to Canada!

Although Eric’s journey is finished, the Pediatric Brain Tumor Foundation, Swifty Foundation and Dragon Master Foundation will continue to raise funds for Project Open DIPG throughout the summer. And you can help!

Our campaign goal of $185,000 is aggressive, but it has to be if we want to cure the deadliest childhood cancer. 

You can make lifesaving research possible by fundraising online or in person this summer with the Four Pennies partner of your choice.

The following guide offers ideas and tips to help you raise money as part of Four Pennies, with 100% of all proceeds going towards Project Open DIPG, the first translational, multi-institutional study for Diffuse Intrinsic Pontine Glioma. Not only is it the largest research project ever done on this aggressive, treatment-defying brain cancer, Project Open DIPG also serves as a model for research on all pediatric brain tumors.

Here are three ways to get involved:

Host a Facebook fundraiser.

It’s easy to rally friends and family through Facebook fundraising. Plus, when you select the Pediatric Brain Tumor Foundation, Swifty Foundation or Dragon Master Foundation as your nonprofit of choice, Facebook’s donation processing fees are waived.

1. Set up your fundraiser. If this is your first time fundraising on Facebook, their quick guide will help. Select the nonprofit you’re raising funds for (Pediatric Brain Tumor Foundation, Swifty Foundation or Dragon Master Foundation) and include “Four Pennies Fundraiser” in your fundraiser’s title so that it can be counted towards this initiative.

2. Customize your fundraiser’s description and cover image. The following text can be used to show you’re part of the Four Pennies effort.

I’m raising funds to give children with brain cancer the fighting chance they so desperately need.

The National Cancer Institute, the largest source of cancer research funding, currently spends only four cents of every research dollar on pediatric cancer, with an even smaller portion dedicated to pediatric brain tumors.

Your donation will help the pediatric brain tumor community do more to find a cure. 100% of this fundraiser’s proceeds will be invested by the Pediatric Brain Tumor Foundation, Swifty Foundation and Dragon Master Foundation in Project Open DIPG, a first-of-its-kind, collaborative research project.

Although medical advances in the past 40 years have improved survival rates for many types of childhood cancer, diffuse intrinsic pontine gliomas (DIPG) are not one of them. These highly aggressive brain tumors defy treatment and are always fatal. The research you’re funding is not only the largest research project undertaken for DIPG, it will also serve as a model for research on all pediatric brain tumors.

Whether you donate $5 or $500, every cent helps. Thank you for your support.

3. Make it personal. You’re asking for money for a good reason – to save children’s lives. Although the template text we’ve provided can help get you started, we recommend sharing why this cause matters to you and your family.

4. Spread the word. After you launch your fundraiser, invite your Facebook friends, email contacts and other social media contacts to donate. And don’t forget to post reminders – it takes an average of three asks to get a donation.

5. Show a donation’s impact. Every cent counts in the fight against childhood brain tumors. Click here for information you can share about the research project you’re funding.

Collect change in your community.

Take your fundraising offline by setting up a Four Pennies’ change drive at work, church or in your neighborhood. You could even partner up with a local business to collect change in their store.

At the end of your change drive, submit your donation online or contact the Four Pennies nonprofit of your choice to send in your offline donation and write “Four Pennies” in the check’s subject line to ensure it is counted towards this initiative.

Pediatric Brain Tumor Foundation: Call 800-253-6530 to make your gift by phone or mail a check or money order in U.S. funds to Pediatric Brain Tumor Foundation, Attn: Four Pennies, 302 Ridgefield Ct., Asheville, NC 28806. Email donations@curethekids.org with questions.

Swifty Foundation: Mail your donation to Swifty Foundation, Attn: Four Pennies, 3916 Sarazen Ct., Woodridge, IL 60517.

Dragon Master Foundation: Mail your donation to Dragon Master Foundation, Attn: Four Pennies, 4120 E. 61st Street North Kechi, KS 67067.

Organize an event.

As the summer heats up, everyone’s looking for things to do with their free time. Give your kids, family and friends an opportunity to give back while having fun.

Check out this article by Classy’s Ellie Burke for 25 summer fundraising activities — our favorites include hosting a pool party or summer field day. Or organize a mini-summer hike in your area. Don’t worry – you don’t need to hike 4.6 million steps like Eric! 😊

Together, we can change the outcome for children with brain tumors. Thank you for joining us in funding this critical research effort!

Change the outcome for children like Keris

In 2013, four-year-old Keris Nicole Bembry started experiencing headaches in the back of her head. After being misdiagnosed a few times, her continued headaches and increasingly unsteady balance led her parents to follow their instincts and take Keris to Children’s Healthcare of Atlanta at Scottish Rite Hospital.

The very next day, an MRI revealed the culprit of these symptoms – Diffuse Intrinsic Pontine Glioma (DIPG).

After being told she only had six months left to live, everything changed for Keris’ family. The doctors immediately created a treatment plan, and chemotherapy and radiation quickly became a part of everyday life.

Keris’ joyful smile and passion for life didn’t change with DIPG. On the evening she was diagnosed, Keris’ family found the cutest dress the hospital had to offer and a crown fit for a princess.

Little did Keris know, that single act of boldly wearing her crown would set the tone for the rest of her journey. It was a constant reminder for herself and everyone around her to always keep your head up so your crown doesn’t slip.

That next year came with many obstacles, but Keris was met with an abundance of love and encouragement through it all. She had a royal court of support. With the help of her medical team, parents, siblings, family and friends, Keris received the best care possible for DIPG as she went to Atlanta, Houston and Cincinnati to fight that tumor with all her might. However, the tumor would not shrink enough in size and remained inoperable throughout the treatments.

Determined to live her best life, Keris filled her days with love, laughter and adventure. Keris never stopped going to school, spending time with friends and doing all the things that made her heart smile.

On July 12th, 2015, Keris gained her wings. That was one year, eight months and 12 days after the day she was diagnosed – and gratefully many more than the six months Keris was predicted to have.

Don’t be mistaken and think Keris lost her battle. She won in more ways than one. She led her way through each obstacle with grace. After all, a true princess never lets you see her sweat.

Give now to the Four Pennies initiative and change the outcome for children like Keris. 100% of proceeds from Four Pennies donations will be invested in Project Open DIPG, a groundbreaking research partnership to cure this treatment-defying tumor.