Months before NFL legend Tony “Goose” Siragusa suddenly passed away in 2022, he told his family and friends about his vision to help critically ill children and young adults. Like everything Tony did in his 55 years, this vision was big. As co-founder of Titan Aviation Group, he wanted to raise money to safely, reliably, and comfortably transport critically ill children to doctor appointments, hospitals, and dream vacations.
Famous for his happy-go-lucky personality, as much as for his role in the Baltimore Ravens’ record-setting Super Bowl XXXV victory, Tony embodied everything good – always passionate about giving his time and resources to bring joy to others. Now his three children, Samantha, Anthony, and Ava, his wife, Kathy, and his friends are honoring his legacy with Goose Flights and their support of the Pediatric Brain Tumor Foundation’s Butterfly Fund.
The Butterfly Fund, the Pediatric Brain Tumor Foundation’s emergency financial assistance program, started 23 years ago. In its first year, the fund provided $16,000 to families in one hospital. Over the last two decades, this fund has grown to provide more than $5.8 million in financial relief to families at 21 of the country’s top pediatric institutions.
Because of Goose Flights’ generous grant, the Pediatric Brain Tumor Foundation will be able to help more families travel to their children’s brain cancer treatments, alleviating some of the financial stress parents and caregivers face so they can focus on their child’s care.
Through the Butterfly Fund, the Pediatric Brain Tumor Foundation works with hospital social workers to assist with critical living expenses such as housing, utilities, food, travel expenses, family counseling, and in some instances funerals. And with the unpredictable costs of groceries, utilities, and gas over the last couple of years, the demand for this program is greater than ever.
“Transportation costs have been a major barrier for our oncology families,” shared one of the social workers we work with. “Our team meets with families each day who express difficulty affording the price of gas, with some families having to travel over 400 miles roundtrip for weekly appointments. Being able to use gas cards from the Pediatric Brain Tumor Foundation greatly relieves the stressor of affording transportation to and from clinic. With all of the stress families endure when a child is diagnosed with brain cancer, the cost of things like gas and transportation should not be one of them!”
As the Pediatric Brain Tumor Foundation looks to the future of this fund, the generosity of individual donors and partners like Goose Flights will help us continue to grow into other hospitals and provide meaningful, tangible support to more families. We are grateful to Goose Flights for their support.
Funding for pediatric brain cancer research and family support resources is at risk across the country. Your support of the Pediatric Brain Tumor Foundation’s mission is essential to ensuring researchers’ work doesn’t stop and families find the help they need. Don’t wait – give now to end the deadliest childhood disease.