2017 ChadTough Foundation Impact Report

Our Mission: to fund research and awareness for Pediatric Brain Cancer with an emphasis on Diffuse Intrinsic Pontine Glioma (DIPG).

“Your donations are supporting ground-breaking research. A cure is coming. Thank you for supporting this life-saving work!” – Tammi, Jason, & Lloyd Carr

Every cure starts somewhere.

The ChadTough Impact

Concentrated research on rare brain tumors like DIPG has the potential to open up new avenues of treatment not just for children with brain tumors, but also for other childhood and adult cancers. What doctors uncover about DIPG and other high grade gliomas will likely shed light on the genetic defects and cellular behavior of all cancers.

Chad’s Final Physical Gift

The first research funded by ChadTough yielded breakthrough results. By analyzing Chad’s tumor cells, U-M researchers unearthed a new discovery with big potential: a genetic mutation called PTEN which drove the growth of his cancer. The revelation carries hope for an effective treatment for future DIPG patients.

Establishment of Michigan Medicine’s PBTRI

The Pediatric Brain Tumor Research Initiative was established in 2016 through the efforts of ChadTough and a few generous donors who, along with U-M leadership, envisioned what it would take to make U-M a leader in the care, treatment and cure of pediatric brain tumors, especially DIPG.

Through support from The ChadTough Foundation, six DIPG research projects have been initiated in the areas of drug delivery, clinical trials, cellular therapy, and immunotherapies. Additionally, The ChadTough Foundation’s $1.5 million commitment to an endowed research professorship has initiated the recruitment of a dedicated DIPG researcher for C.S. Mott Children’s Hospital.

“Chad has inspired the world and we are determined to make a difference at Michigan for children diagnosed with this dreaded cancer.” — Valerie P. Opipari, M.D., Physician-in-Chief, C.S. Mott Children’s Hospital

DIPG Collaborative

Leveraging a medical advisory board, more than 20 foundations work collaboratively to fund DIPG research that meets the guidelines of transparency, collaboration, and the elimination of duplication.

With the help of a significant gift from The ChadTough Foundation, the Collaborative will award more than $4 million this year to researchers around the world, including institutions like Stanford and Dana Farber.

Foundation Support


We would be nowhere without the hours upon hours of support we have received from hundreds of volunteers since we began. We are incredibly grateful!

Participating & Sponsoring

Thousands have attended events run by the foundation, like the Champions for Change Gala or RunTough for ChadTough 5K & 1M Fun Run. Sponsorships have covered expenses, maximizing dollars to research.


The number of supporters willing to raise funds has been an incredible gift. From our Dancing with the Stars dancers to our Chicago Marathon Team, to folks hosting garage sales and lemonade stands, sports tournaments, school fundraisers, golf outings, and coin drives … the list is endless and the amount raised has been extraordinary.

General Giving

We will continue to focus on Chad’s November 23rd Angel-versary as the heart of our annual campaign. We so appreciate our donors’ unwavering generosity.

The Ruddy Family

Tommy, who lost his battle with DIPG in 2016 after just 3 months, inspired his family and community to join the fight. We are honored to have the support of the Ruddys as an official ChadTough family.

The Facts about DIPG

DIffuse Intrinsic Pontine Glioma is an aggressive and debilitating cancer of the brain stem.

  • 0% Survival Rate
  • DIPG most commonly strikes kids between the ages of 5-9 years old.
  • Brain tumors are the leading cause of cancer-related deaths in children under the age of 10.
  • 9 and 90% – The average survival rate from diagnosis in 9 months. 90% of kids will die within two years of a DIPG diagnosis.

Source: Dana Farber/Boston Children’s Cancer and Blood Disorders Center, Tribune News Service

fbq('track', 'InitiateCheckout');