Just exactly how do we get the average person like you and the politicians and the corporations and the pharmaceutical companies who control the research funding to take creative ownership of the childhood cancer epidemic in this country? Because make no mistake about it… it is an epidemic!
Tom Mitchell is the founder and director of Stillbrave Childhood Cancer Foundation. Affectionately known as “Tattoo Tom” by the children and families whom he serves. He is also a nationally recognized activist and advocate for children with cancer and their families.
Following the death of his daughter Shayla in 2009 from Hodgkin’s Lymphoma Tom dedicated his entire life to providing non-medical support to children with cancer and their families. He’s also committed to raising awareness of the need for more research funding and safer, less toxic treatments for children with cancer.
Dubbing himself and those who work for Stillbrave as “Renegades” Tattoo Tom is always anxious to share what he’s learned, grown to understand, but refused to accept. He is very outspoken. His obvious passion, continued activism, and his innate need to be a voice for those who do not have one has led him to being at the forefront of a grassroots movement.
In September of 2015 Tom competed in and finished the Tahoe 200 mile ultramarathon. He is an extreme runner and has been featured in an award-winning documentary and news stories of his exploits have won several Emmy awards. To date he has raised over $350,000 for Stillbrave just through his ultrarunning endeavors
On any given day you are likely to find Tom on a personal visit either at the chemotherapy clinic or bedside within the confines of a hospital room where his ability to console the inconsolable is an invaluable asset. Humor, compassion and first-hand knowledge of this kind are almost impossible to quantify and cannot be delivered in a gift card, or a care package.
The following day you may find Tattoo Tom at the White House, speaking at a rally or on the streets of Washington D.C. carrying a picket sign, loudly and unapologetically vocal about what matters most, the eradication of childhood cancer.