Pierre was an amazing fighter and surprised everyone with his tenacity & strength. Pierre’s strength during his battle moved all of those around him and inspired me to hold myself to a higher standard and push my boundaries. Pierre was loved by so many around him and all admired his warmth, generosity, humor, and ability to laugh at himself. Even when he felt at his worst, he would still crack sarcastic jokes that would make everyone in the room smile. I know Pierre touched many lives of those around him as evidenced by everyone who came to visit him in the last 2 years. Pierre always thought of others before himself; he was so selfless.
During his treatments, Pierre still focused on how he could make others’ lives better. He started Pierre’s Birthday Fund at Children’s’ Hospital Oakland, where a teen who spends their birthday in the hospital would get a personalized gift, courtesy of Pierre. His support for child life did not stop there; he also helped fund new BINGO prizes, as well as new video game units on wheels for every floor of the hospital. Pierre’s understanding was that many kids couldn’t avoid being in the hospital, that some treatments are really difficult, and small gestures made all the difference. This was the legacy Pierre wanted to leave—one of love, support, and kindness.
After Pierre passed away, I quickly moved to incorporate PBF so that his impact could be lasting. Pierre was always worried that as a result of his disease, he wouldn’t have time to leave behind anything of substance. I think he surprised all of those around him with what he was able to do in his last 2 years. More than many of us have done in our time. Pierre’s disease took away all of his energy and strength, but also gave him an immense amount of a different kind of strength. He was able to philosophically think about his purpose and what he wanted to achieve in his lifetime. He could feel the time running out on the clock, but never knew when the end was coming, so he got straight to work. His strength allowed him to never ever give up and throw in the towel. He fought until the very end and surprised doctors every time he bounced back. That’s what Pierre wanted us to remember him as—the fighter that he was. I wanted to maintain his legacy in establishing Pierre’s programs in Children’s hospitals and grow the programs he had envisioned. He has nothing to worry about and I’m proud to support the mission he envisioned every day.