In February of 2003, the Pite family faced an incredible journey. Their young daughter Hannah was diagnosed with a very rare form of childhood leukemia. Hannah bravely faced more than 100 days of chemotherapy, additional radiation treatments and even a stem cell transplant.
Despite her courageous battle, the Pite family learned the day before Thanksgiving 2004 that Hannah's cancer had returned and that her prognosis was now terminal. With her 6th birthday approaching, the Pite family decided that a true celebration would be in order. They felt that their family needed to share this important day with the community which had supported them during the past two year's of treatment. The first Bpositiv Charity Art Auction was held on January 29th, 2005, on the eve of Hannah's 6th Birthday.
With only a short time to bring an evening of art and music together, and with McMenamins signing on to host our annual event, the Bpositiv Charity Art Auction was born.
Hannah danced the limbo, painted with an artist on canvas, ate her 6th birthday cake, and enjoyed one of the greatest nights of her young life. More than $5,000 was raised on this most magical of evenings. A fitting tribute to a sweet, sweet flower - and a mighty warrior.
At Hannah's insistence, a donation was also made to the American Red Cross to aid in the recovery of the Asian tsunami which had recently occurred and impacted so many lives abroad. "Shouldn't we do something to help?" is what Hannah asked upon seeing the tsunami devastation. Despite her own terminal prognosis, she longed to help other people so very far away. She already knew: we are ALL connected.
Yes, Hannah, we should do something to help.
A decision was made by the Pite's to honor the courage, grace and humanity that their young daughter had displayed and the Bpositiv Charity Art Auction became an annual event to be held on the weekend closest to Hannah's birthday. The Bpositiv Charity Art Auction donated the proceeds from the first 6 events to the Leukemia & Lymphoma Society. More than $50,000 dollars was raised and donated through Bpositiv.
In 2009 the Pite family formally enacted the steps to turn the Bpositiv Charity Art Auction into the Bpositiv Foundation for Children with Cancer, inc., now a registered 501(c)3 non-profit organization. Since then, Bpositiv has turned its fundraising focus from generous art donors to participants and volunteers of distance running events such as the popular Eugene Marathon held each year in Eugene, Oregon. The kindess and generosity of the running community allows Bpositiv to pursue its goal of helping as many Oregon families in need as possible.
With the help of an all-volunteer board of directors and the generosity of so many people, the Bpositiv Foundation for Children with Cancer, inc. is able to use its fundraising events to help support those Oregon families in need and facing a terminal cancer diagnosis for their child. The Social Work staff at Doernbecher Children's Hospital helps Bpositiv identify families in this most dire of circumstances who may require our help. We offer direct financial support (when available) to these families using a simple application process for related end of life expenses. Over the past year - because of your support - we have begun to offer these stipends to help defray such costs as funerary expenses and mortgage or rent payments to allow these families the dignity they deserve at the time of their child's passing as well as to allow them some slight respite from the financial burden each of these families face. While these are modest stipends, it is our hope that they will allow these families some proper time to grieve their loss.
The Board of Directors was formed in December 2009 in anticipation of the Foundation's establishment. In January 2010, Daniel Pite was installed as the foundation's first executive director. The Officers were appointed shortly thereafter and currently serve two year terms.
All members of the board are volunteers.
Daniel Pite – Executive Director
Talya Pite – President and Treasurer
Elias Pite – Vice President
Shirley Williams and Dana Tessler – Co-Secretaries
Advisory Board Members:
Dr. Jason Friedman
ad hoc Advisory Board in Pediatric Oncology:
Dr. Archie Bleyer, M.D.
Dr. Linda Stork, M.D.
Susan Geske - Bookkeeper