“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 is the executive director of PAB’S PACKS. She has a background in education, nonprofit management and operations, and youth leadership. Passionate about cultivating community and developing new ideas into strategic plans, Steph leads our Teen Ambassador Board and has used her background to craft our custom teen leadership curriculum and service-learning program. A Teach For America alum, she holds a M.A. in Teaching from Marian University and a M.Div. from Bethel Seminary. She is also an avid photographer and outdoor enthusiast.
Chief Community Officer
Melissa is our volunteer and community coordinator, managing all hospital and volunteer partnerships. She has a background in psychology and at-risk child and youth care. In addition to her work at PAB’S PACKS, she is a Certified Child Life Specialist at Children’s Minnesota where she strives to ensure coping and positive development for children and teens in the hospital. Melissa enjoys being active - kayaking, pilates - and loves to hand-craft cards.