Abbie Dayton + Pia Phillips


Abbie and Pia know what it’s like to be a sick teen in the hospital. Lifelong friends, they were at each other’s sides in the hospital during some scary moments in their lives, but they saw many other teens who didn’t have the same strong support system as they did. Inspired to make a difference, they founded PAB’S PACKS and have donated thousands of backpacks filled with comfort items specifically selected with adolescent development in mind.

What attributes connect you to your purpose?
Creating connection has been our biggest goal. Meeting new people and creating lasting connections and relationships with them has been one of the most rewarding parts about PAB’S.

Pia: I believe philanthropy and connection are crucial to living a fulfilling life. Everyone has something incredible to share, and these connections are what make me strive to keep working towards my purpose.

Is there a significant decision you made or experience you’ve had that has forever shaped your life?
Abbie: When I was diagnosed with Type 1 diabetes. Diabetes has carried my life in a different direction than most other 19-year-olds. Sometimes I wish things were different and that I could be a “normal” teenager, but then I think about all the amazing friends I’ve made, the people I’ve met, and the fact that I probably wouldn’t have started my own non-profit without the things I have learned from living with T1D. It has made me optimistic and even more curious about the opportunities in life.

Pia: After I was diagnosed with cancer, shaving my head was the most pivotal experience of my life. It taught me how to deal with hardships thrown at me throughout my life, and it matured me in ways I am still experiencing today.

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