Smashing Walnuts Foundation was started by 10-year old Gabriella Miller and her family after Gabriella was diagnosed with an inoperable brain tumor the size of a walnut. Gabriella smashed walnuts with a frying pan to symbolize "smashing" her tumor.
The Smashing Walnuts Foundation mission is to cure Childhood Brain Cancer by funding targeted research and clinical trails. We are an organization dedicated to raising much needed awareness of Childhood Cancer and in particular it's DEADLIEST FORM in kids
under 18, Childhood Brain Cancer.
- Childhood Brain Cancer is NOT THE SAME as Adult Brain Cancer. It is a DIFFERENT Cancer.
- Cancer is the leading cause of death by disease past infancy among U.S. Children.
- Brain and Central Nervous system tumors are the leading cause of Cancer-related death in Children.
- Less than 4% of tax-payer funded National Cancer Institute's (NCI) entire annual budget is dedicated to Childhood Cancer.
- In 2014, there were 10,000+ new Childhood Cancer cases reported within the U.S. alone.
- There has only been ONE new cancer drug for children that has been developed within the last 30 years. There have been NO treatments developed specifically for childhood brain cancer - EVER.
Children are dying every day waiting for promising new treatments that lack funding.
This is NOT OK. Our Children deserve better.
How Smashing Walnuts began:
In November 2012, 9-year-old Gabriella Miller was diagnosed with an inoperable brain tumor known as DIPG (Diffuse Intrinsic Pontine Glioma). Her parents were told it was "terminal upon diagnosis". Without treatment she would have weeks to live – with treatment maybe a year. Her family described the size of her tumor as that of a walnut. Gabriella began smashing walnuts with a frying pan every night to help her visualize what she wanted radiation and chemotherapy treatments to do to her tumor.
During the time between Gabriella's diagnosis and her death in October 2013, she became a global advocate for children with cancer. She spoke on the Washington Mall. She co-authored a children's book about cancer. She raised close to
$300,000 for childhood cancer foundations prior to starting her own foundation, Smashing Walnuts. She was featured on CNN, The Today Show and dozens of regional news networks for her advocacy work. Journalists covering Gabriella's story earned five Emmy awards.
Hear Gabriella's powerful words from CureFest 2013 here
Gabriella was awarded an honorary college degree, two weeks before her passing, from Shenandoah University for her humanitarian work. In a documentary film shot shortly before her passing, she was asked whether there was anything she’d like to say to our Nation’s Leaders about the need for Pediatric Cancer Research. Gabriella responded with, “Less talking, more doing….we need action".
After seeing this video, then House Majority Leader Eric Cantor, answered the challenge and contacted the Miller family requesting permission to rename a Federal Pediatric Medical Research Act in Gabriella’s honor. This Act would redirect $126M over the course of 10 years from the Political Party Campaign Fund to a common fund for childhood cancer and disease research at the National Institute of Health. In March of 2014, five months after Gabriella’s passing, the United States Senate voted unanimously to pass the Gabriella Miller Kid’s First Research Act. President Obama signed the Bill into law on April 3rd, 2014.
On December 17th, 2014 The House and Senate approved the implementation and full funding of the Gabriella Miller Kids First Research Act.
After Gabriella's death, her parents made the decision to donate her tumor-ridden brain for childhood brain cancer research. In August of 2014, exactly ten months after Gabriella died, the Smashing Walnuts Foundation made its first grant in the amount of $100,000 to the doctor that received her brain. The grant, comprised of donations to the Smashing Walnuts Foundation from people around the world, will fund one year of research. Even in death Gabriella continues to help the childhood brain cancer world. The researchers have made discoveries that are garnering international attention.
“You may have a bad day today, but there’s always a bright shining star to look forward to tomorrow.”
Gabriella Miller, Age 10
Smashing Walnuts Foundation is a component fund of the Community Foundation for Loudoun and Northern Fauquier Counties
(registered as Piedmont Community Foundation), a 501 (c) (3) nonprofit organization. EIN: 54-1950727
All donations are tax deductible. Please consult your tax advisor as required by the IRS.