Pab's Packs: A story of friendship and giving back

Two Twin Cities teens make 'Pab's Packs'

MINNEAPOLIS -- A trait of the teenage girl is to travel in two's.

A non-trait of the teenage girl is to create a non-profit business before getting her driver's license.

But, that's exactly what teen gals Pia Phillips and Abbie Nelson did.

We will get to that in a moment.

The girls who were inseparable pals since they were 4-years-old and they were drawn even closer when each of them got sick: Abbie with type 1 diabetes; Pia with Hodgkin's lymphoma.

Both of them battled back at Children's Hospitals (Abbie in St. Paul, Pia in Minneapolis) and both of them noticed something wrong during that battle.

"They had everything that as a sick person or a child going through medical treatment that you wanted and they would look across the hall and see a kid with nobody there," Martha Dayton, Abbie's mom said of how her daughter felt seeing other kids in the hospital who didn't have all the visitors and gifts brought in that she did.

"So we wanted to do something about that to make it a little better because we can't be their parents who visit them in the room, that's not possible, so that's where it blossomed," Pia said of the idea Martha first had to create Pab's Packs.

For the last year Abbie and Pia (better known as Pabs) has been packing.

They are making bags full of all the things kids need at the hospital like blankets and stress balls and chap sticks.

And for the last year they have handed out 150 of them to kids in the very hospitals they used to be in.

"That's where the magic happens, or however you want to say it," Pia said with a grin.

Pab's Packs is the living breathing proof of Abbie and Pia's promise.

"We are both very lucky and I think that's why we are able to do this, why we want to do it," Abbie said.

That promise to always have each other's back.

No matter what.

Abbie had Pia's when the chemo came in and the long locks came out.

Pia had Abbie's when fatigue set in and injections had to come more than a dozen times a day.

So for these two all they knew to do is what they did for each other.

Give back.

And get everyone else's, back.

If you want to check them out here is their website:


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