Keeping Mitch's Pinky Swear by helping children with cancer and their families. MOMF comes alongside families financially and emotionally.
The Miracles of Mitch are the daily good works inspired by 9-year-old Mitch Chepokas to help the families of children battling cancer in Minnesota. Sealed with a pinky swear between Mitch and his father, Steve, The Miracles of Mitch Foundation was created to honor Mitch’s desire to support these families during a stressful time in their lives.
Our story begins in December 2002. Mitch had been battling osteogenic sarcoma, a form of bone cancer for several months and the cancer had spread throughout his body. Weakened by the disease, Mitch was in a wheelchair. Although Mitch faced his own challenges, he realized that many of the other pediatric cancer patients and their families were having a tough time financially.
One night Mitch and his dad, Steve, heard the family in the next hospital room crying and arguing because there wasn’t money for Christmas presents. The family was from out of town, and the dad was sleeping in the car—this was in December.
Mitch decided that he wanted to help these families have a happy holiday season. He cleaned out his bank account—roughly $6,800—an anonymously delivered it to his fellow patients at the University of Minnesota Children’s Hospital. He filled envelopes with hundred dollar bills and, with the help of his dad, slid them under doors, placed them on nightstands and pillows. Mitch had such a good time that he couldn't wait to spread holiday cheer again next year.
Upon realizing he wouldn't live to see another holiday season, Mitch made Steve pinky swear to continue helping these families. This simple act in an elevator at the U of M Children’s Hospital inspired the Miracles of Mitch Foundation.
Unfortunately, Mitch passed away a few months later in April 2003, but since that time MOMF has helped hundreds of pediatric cancer families protect their quality of life during an abnormally stressful time in their lives.
Many families dealing with a long-term illness experience financial difficulty through no fault of their own. One or both parents has drastically reduced their work hours to be with the child at the hospital. Often, they’ve exhausted their health insurance coverage and have to pay out of pocket for medical care. The Miracles of Mitch Foundation provides financial and quality-of-life assistance to these families by paying mortgage, rent, utilities and property tax payments to protect their home, providing grocery and gas cards,pyaing for vehicle repairs and so much more. Miracles of Mitch partners with the Hilton MSP Airport Hotel and the Mall of America to provide Mitch's All-Star Weeeknds to give families a fun, worry-free getaway. We also sponsor a five-day summer camp for current and past pediatric cancer and blood disease patients and their siblings. Finally, MOMF creates specially tailored quality-of-life initiatives for Mitch's All-Stars.
How do families know about our many services? We work through social workers at Minnesota’s four primary pediatric cancer treatment facilities: Children’s Hospitals and Clinics of Minnesota; University of Minnesota Amplatz Children’s Hospital; Mayo Clinic; and the Erick Peter Person Cancer Center, a part of Essentia Health in Duluth.
Last year, MOMF provided assistance to nearly 350 families, but the need is growing every day. We need your help to come alongside these families in their darkest time.