Mission: Helping kids with cancer and their families with financial and emotional support.
Before nine-year-old Mitch Chepokas died from cancer, his dad made a pinky swear promise with him to continue to help children with cancer and their families by providing immediate needs support and unique family programs.
Pinky Swear Foundation eases the financial and emotional impacts experienced by children with cancer and their families by providing basic needs support and 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 our programs are so important. We do not limit requests from families, nor discriminate on socioeconomic status. When cancer enters life, the simple, everyday things aren’t so simple anymore.
Mitch was nine years old when he was diagnosed with bone cancer. When he was in the hospital in December, 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 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!
Pinky Swear Foundation was established by Steve and Becky Chepokas in memory of their son, Mitch.
Since his death in 2003, Pinky Swear Foundation has provided more than $4.5 million in financial assistance and quality of life support. We’ve helped thousands of families whose children are bravely battling the ugliness of cancer.