Mission & History

Mission: Helping kids with cancer and their families with financial and emotional support.

Pinky Swear Foundation eases the financial and emotional impacts experienced by children with cancer and their families by providing basic needs support 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.

Vision: To say yes to every family with a child battling cancer.


  1. ​Be compassionate in striving to alleviate stress for each family.

  2. Invest in authentic relationships.

  3. Maximize the potential of all resources entrusted to us.

  4. Support our community by working together! #teamwork

  5. Celebrate successes of all sizes.


The Pinky Swear Story

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.

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 in 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.

See how the legacy of Mitch’s pinky swear with his dad continues to help families in need today:




Spring 2002

Mitch diagnosed with cancer

December 2002  

Pinky swear promise made with Mitch and his dad, Steve

April 11, 2003

Mitch passed away


Miracles of Mitch Foundation forms


Launch of the MiracleKids Triathlon


Partnership formed with Hilton MSP Airport Hotel


First Shoot for a Miracle event hosted


MiracleKids Triathlon expands to Minneapolis


MOMF began All-Star Summer Camp


Mitch’s All-Star program began


Trading cards created for 50 All-Stars


Mitch's 11th Heavenly Birthday Celebration - April 11, 2014  

Miracles of Mitch became Pinky Swear Foundation

December 11, 2014 declared 'National Pinky Swear Day' in Minnesota 


Expansion to Des MoinesKansas CityOmahaCharlotte, and Quad Cities markets

Partnership formed with Love Your Melon

Partnership formed with Tri at the Trump Charlotte

Partnership formed with Perk's Pinky Swear Mess Fest 

Partnership formed with Hy-Vee Kids Triathlons

Provided grants to families in 32 states


Partnership formed with KLN Family Brands