The Brian Pender Presents Fund
"There are some who bring a light so great to the world that even after they have gone the light remains."
We have established this fund in memory of Brian, and will be donating yearly to this cause.
Meredith, Rich, Catherine and Shawn
From Brian's family:
Our hearts are broken. This morning we lost Brian, beloved son, husband and brother. He was the bravest man I know. He fought so hard for so long to battle this terrible disease. He had to endure more pain than anyone should ever have to and he did it without complaint. He always put those he loved before himself. We will miss him so much.
Brian battled this disease for almost 16 years, through
dozens of surgeries and countless treatments. Through it all he went to
college, started a career, and found the love of his life. In the end the
cancer proved to be too difficult to overcome. Because of his typical high
tolerance for pain, even we didn’t know how sick he was. The end came very
quickly for him as the cancer had completely consumed his lungs.
His life was way too short, but he lived it to the fullest.
He fought right to the end and still showed compassion for others over himself
even at the end. He was apologizing last week that he was sorry he was keeping
me up as he was struggling to breathe in the early morning hours. That was
always Brian, he never expected people to have to do things for him.
Right now, the grief is still so overwhelming.
Brian, we will always love you and are so proud of the man
you were and the way you fought this disease to the end.
Damon, Tricia, Daria, Shane, Troy and Jared
------------About Aaron's Presents-------------
Aaron’s Presents is a registered 501(c)(3) youth development organization founded in memory of Aaron Makaio Schneider (June 19-27, 2013) that is helping kids find purpose and meaning by having an early encounter with using their unique gifts and qualities to make an impact on others’ lives. Kids in 8th grade and below can propose and carry out any idea as long as it has a positive impact on at least one other person, animal or the environment. It’s up to them to join, and they direct the entire process. We have been able to attract kids from all walks of life, but focus on youth in the gateway cities of Lawrence, Lowell, and Lynn, MA where the opportunity gap is severe. Each young person has a critical role to play in helping their communities grieve, heal and achieve greater equity now and for future generations. It is our hope that this work will reflect Brian's youthful, compassionate, selfless, loving spirit by bringing more healing, joy, love and community into the world and adding to his beautiful legacy.
Thinking of you January 10, 2022
Hello, and best wishes for 2022 to you all,
I have been meaning to send an update for a while now, but keep getting pulled away. When I have these quiet moments, I often take the time to think about the special people we have lost and all the angels we have pulling for us, helping to guide us through the time we have left here, and inspiring us to make the most of our days and lives. Even though I never was lucky enough to meet Brian in person, being connected to him through Meredith and Richard has been such a blessing, and I think of him often and look to him for inspiration.
With the funds that have been contributed to date, we were able to get some necessary gear for our team of 8 teens from Lawrence and Lowell, MA to go on a 14-day canoeing and service expedition through Hurricane Island Outward Bound in Maine. This experience was so life-changing for them, and they were blown away by the depth of connection they had with each other, most not having met before, when in the wilderness without any technology to hide behind. Seeing some pictures of Brian traveling and hiking, we thought that he would be proud to be a part of making this adventure possible for kids from the cities who had very little exposure to camping and outdoors activities before this!
These funds also helped with 2 other projects that we thought Brian would have enjoyed as well. Four 8th graders from Lawrence put together thoughtful care packages for 4 adults and children in the community who were dealing with illness, such as a boy and two adult women with cancer, and a teen dealing with depression. And right before Thanksgiving, 13 8th graders from Lowell cleaned up a big park in Lowell together after school and picked up 6 trash bags full of trash, so that the community could enjoy the park in all of its beauty without the litter.
We're so proud of these kids for feeling compassion, responsibility, care for others, generosity, and thoughtfulness, but even more, acting on those feelings and using their time and energy to make a positive impact on others' lives. Their actions feel very much in line with Brian's caring, selfless spirit, and we hope they will grow up with a focus on giving and contributing their unique gifts and qualities.
We've added some pictures from these three experiences in the gallery below.
Thank you again for trusting us with building on Brian's meaningful legacy in these ways that we truly believe empower young people to become more fully themselves, for the good of all of us. Please feel free to get in touch with me at any time if you have any questions or if there are certain types of projects or initiatives that you would like us to fund in the future.
With love and healing thoughts always,