What We Do

At Sky Foundation, we raise awareness and fund innovative research for the early detection and treatment of pancreatic cancer.

Through events and other outreach, we seek to raise public awareness about pancreatic health, the factors that might contribute to pancreatic cancer and the importance of genetic counseling for those with relatives who have had the disease.

Our awareness efforts are rooted in the research we fund to detect, prevent and treat the disease. We raise funds and award seed-money grants to researchers working on promising basic research and medical treatment protocols.


Sky’s Scientific Advisory Committee reviews research proposals and recommends to the governing board who should receive seed-money grants. A cohort of doctors and researchers are awarded grants each year; seed grants typically range from $30,000 to $100,000. We require annual progress updates from those we fund in order to evaluate the appropriateness of future funding.

Sky Foundation grants help our researchers fill funding gaps that in turn enable them to develop their projects to a point where they can compete for and secure major funding from the National Institutes of Health and other funding sources. NIH is a federal agency and the largest biomedical research institution in the world.

Sky has so far funded researchers in Michigan, California, Pennslyvania & Texas.



At Sky, efforts to increase awareness for the early detection and treatment of pancreatic cancer go hand-in-hand with fundraising to advance research.

With pancreatic cancer, recognizing even subtle changes in your body is critical, as is awareness of family history.

Genetic counseling

We recommend genetic counseling as one important step in prevention for individuals who have a parent or sibling (first-tier relatives) or two or more grandparents, aunts, uncles, cousins (second-tier relatives) with a history of pancreatic cancer.

Many health facilities in metropolitan areas have cancer genetics programs.

Because we are based in greater Detroit, we work closely with the Barbara Ann Karmanos Cancer Institute, Henry Ford Health System, and the University of Michigan.

Awareness of family history and changes in your body are critical to your wellbeing. You can learn about genetic programs in your area by consulting your physician or referring to:

National Society of Genetic Counselors (Download PDF) »
Our friends at the University of Michigan Comprehensive Cancer Center offer this NSGC-funded Familial Pancreatic Cancer Fact Sheet.


On a local and regional level, we host special events and work with media partners, civic and other organizations interested in sharing information about pancreatic cancer. (Learn about upcoming events). We also create educational videos and invest in information/education assets that can be used by people far beyond our home base.

Several of our videos employ humor to tackle what we know is a difficult subject. Two have won AVA Digital Awards. They’re available on YouTube. We hope they help others.