“PABS” is for Pia and Abbie; our teen co-founders. Lifelong friends, Abbie was diagnosed at the age of 13 in with Type 1 Diabetes. Not a year later, Pia received her diagnosis at the age of 14: Hodgkin’s Lymphoma, Stage IIA. Thanks to the wonderful care they received at Children’s Hospitals of Minnesota, Pia is now cancer free and Abbie has her diabetes under control. In the fall of 2018, both girls started their freshmen years of college.
With a lot of help from their families, Pia and Abbie founded PAB’S PACKS to fill the comfort gap they witnessed for teen patients in the hospital. Since 2015, 8,000 PAB’S PACKS were donated through 37 partnerships with children’s hospitals and summer camps nationwide.
Chief Inspiration Officer
Abbie attends Tufts University in Boston, MA. She was diagnosed with Type 1 Diabetes in March of 2013 at the age of 13 and is an advocate for other children living with the disease. Abbie is interested in studying nonprofit management and leadership and loves being outdoors, especially around the Minneapolis lakes when she’s visiting home. She played competitive lacrosse and tennis in high school and loves printmaking and enjoying quality time with her family and friends.
Chief Inspiration Officer
Pia is a student at Emory University in Atlanta, GA where she serves on the Atlanta Pediatric Children’s Hospital student board. When home in Minneapolis she loves to walk around the downtown lakes and do art projects as well as spend time with her close-knit family and friends. Pia is in remission from Hodgkins Lymphoma stage IIA.
Chief Idea Officer
Martha is an interior designer who has both an eponymous firm specializing in both commercial and residential interiors. She is inspired by beautiful design whether it is interiors, art, clothing or jewelry. She and her husband have two daughters, Lucy and Abbie. She enjoys pilates, walking around the lakes and watching her girls in their many endeavors. She feels honored to work with both Abbie and Pia for such a worthy cause and is in awe of how they have both handled their respective health challenges.
Chief Champion Officer
Steph served as our executive director since 2016. Coming alongside our team of three founders, she helped build our organization from the ground up. Through her strategic leadership, we grew exponentially and expanded our impact far beyond what we ever dreamed possible. Steph also designed our Teen Ambassador Board program, crafting a curriculum that integrated our values of generosity, leadership and empathy.
Chief Community Officer
Melissa started with PAB’S PACKS as a program intern, later joining staff as our community and volunteer coordinator. During her time with us, she helped to develop a robust volunteer management program serving over 500 volunteers each year. Melissa is also a Certified Child Life Specialist and was instrumental in building and sustaining relationships with our many hospital and camp partners.