Why We Exist

Our History: Meet Morgan Adams

The Morgan Adams Foundation is named for a real person – Morgan Adams was a normal, healthy 5-year old girl when she was diagnosed with a glioblastoma multiforme (GBM) brain tumor in December 1997. She battled her cancer for 11 months before she succumbed to the disease.

Two years after Morgan died, her parents Steven Adams and Joan Slaughter joined the Oncology Advisory Board at The Children’s Hospital in Denver as a way to learn more about research and treatment options for childhood cancer, and to take a more active role in addressing the unmet needs in the field of pediatric cancer research.

As a result of their work on that board, they asked a small group of friends to help a host a fundraiser to benefit pediatric cancer research, and on a cold night in February 2001, artma – now our signature art auction – was born. The extremely successful event today has become a much-anticipated biennial event. In 2003, Steven and the late Brett Derosier inaugurated a second benefit event, the Morgan Adams Concours d’Elegance (an aircraft and automobile “extravaganza”), which has been equally successful.

The Morgan Adams Foundation has grown to encompass many, many more families whose children have battled cancer. Some of our kids have come out the other side of their cancer journey while others have not – but their stories are shared within these pages. We hope you’ll read them to meet the kids.

We are a vital, vibrant, and committed organization born out of love, hope, and the determination to see a better, cancer-free future for our children.

Our Purpose

The Morgan Adams Foundation funds kids’ cancer research. We raise awareness of, and educate our communities about, the need for pediatric and young adult specific cancer treatments.

Working with leading researchers and physicians, we fund new and innovative ideas that will improve cancer treatment effectiveness, overall outcomes, survival rates and quality of life while minimizing the devastating side effects current treatments have on our children.

Our particular interest is to provide seed and bridge grants for viable investigations not yet ripe enough for total funding by larger organizations. Additionally, we are able to partially fund translational studies, experimental therapeutics studies, and/or Phase I and II clinical trials on a case-by-case basis.

We increasingly seek projects that are highly collaborative and/or multi-institutional in nature. Our hope is that we can facilitate, through strategic funding, more rapid clinical trial development to get the best possible treatment options into circulation as expediently as possible.

Through careful consideration and placement of our funding, we encourage and support research intended to improve treatment effectiveness, treatment outcomes, and the quality of life for children battling cancer.

We will achieve our vision of curing pediatric cancer by:

  • Funding cutting-edge research
  • Facilitating collaboration between clinicians and researchers across the pediatric, adolescent, and young adult oncology communities
  • Expanding development of clinical trials for children and young adults who have cancer
  • Providing educational opportunities to distribute clinical and research knowledge across the pediatric, adolescent, and young adult oncology communities


  • We believe that innovative new research ideas are essential to finding cures.
  • We believe in funding the investigation and development of new and better treatments for all pediatric cancers by providing seed and bridge grants for scientific inquiries not yet eligible to be funded by larger organizations.
  • We believe that through the development of crucial partnerships, we will improve outcomes for children and young adults who are battling cancer.
  • We believe that educating our communities about how the needs of children who are battling cancer differ from those of adults is a mission imperative.
  • We believe that without risk, there cannot be progress, and without progress, our children and young adults will continue to suffer failed outcomes.

We promise to fight tirelessly against cancer by bravely pushing new ideas for pediatric and young adult cancer treatments forward. We promise to celebrate our heroes who are battling and who have battled this disease every day. 

We promise to continue funding hope, until we fund a cure.

Member Organizations

The Morgan Adams Foundation aligns with local nonprofit agencies that provide support to families that are effected by childhood cancer. Please visit these member organization websites for more information.