Our Story

Where do all good things start? In the heart.  At 9 years old, Gabriella Miller was diagnosed with DIPG – Diffuse Intrinsic Pontine Glioma – an inoperable brain tumor, which is terminal upon diagnosis.  Her tumor was the size of a walnut. Gabriella quickly became a global advocate for children with cancer. She founded the Smashing Walnuts Foundation to increase awareness of the need for funding for childhood brain cancer research.

Less than a year after her diagnosis, Gabriella passed away surrounded by family and friends who promised to continue her work.  An interview, filmed two weeks before her death, led to her name being added to a Federal Bill allocating $126 million for childhood disease research and kick started our mission to focus on research.

Today our organization provides funding, lobbying and directed resources to develop better treatment protocols and a cure. We partner with government organizations, lawmakers, businesses, nonprofits, communities and children who share our goal.

Before starting the Smashing Walnuts Foundation, Gabriella helped raised nearly $300,000 for children’s cancer charities.

The Gabriella Miller Kids First Research Act

In April of 2014, the Miller family watched as President Obama signed, “The Gabriella Miller Kids First Research Act.”  The law officially ended taxpayer contribution to the Presidential Election Campaign Fund and launched a pediatric research initiative through the National Institutes of Health, appropriating $126 million, over the next 10 years, to childhood disease research.