Pierre Schreyer was celebrating his 17th birthday at UCSF Benioff Children’s Hospital in Oakland while undergoing treatment for stage 4 neuroblastoma. He spent that day — July 17, 2015 — wondering how he could help other teens who, like him, were stuck in the hospital on their birthday receiving chemotherapy, surgeries and other difficult medical procedures. Pierre felt that a just small gift to acknowledge their birthday would bring a little joy and make all the difference to kids that are suffering.
And that’s how Pierre’s Birthday Fund was born.
Initially, Pierre raised money from friends and family to buy birthday presents, ones that were more suited for teenagers, like Amazon and iTunes gift cards. Pierre amazed everyone with the amount of work he was able to do while battling cancer. ItNot only did he set up the Birthday party program, but he raised money for better Bingo prizes for teens so that they would participate in Thursday night Bingo. He grew the portable gaming system from one go kartgo-kart to a fleet of 4, so that there would be one on every floor of the hospital. It was his tenacity and strength that helped launch this simple idea of making life a little better for other hospitalized kids.
Pierre’s dream was to leave behind a legacy of enduring love, support, and kindness. After nearly two years of treatment, he passed away on October 13, 2015. His brother Andrew immediately stepped inup to carry out Pierre’s vision: to enrich the lives of children struggling with a life-threatening illness.
Andrew took Pierre’s idea to celebrate kids’ birthdays and turned it into a nonprofit organization that could have a larger impact on kids’ hospital stays. Soon after, his nonprofit was generating donations not only to keep Pierre’s programs going, but expanded to massage, art and music therapies