Brain tumor survivors present a check at a 1993 Ride for Kids event.
It all began with friends helping friends. When a colleague's child was diagnosed with a brain tumor, motorcycle enthusiasts Mike and Dianne Traynor wanted to do something to help. In 1984, they joined other dedicated volunteers to organize a motorcycle charity ride in Atlanta, to raise money for childhood brain tumor research.
The first Ride for Kids raised $4,000, which was donated to Emory University. Riders gathered again the following year, and the concept soon spread to other cities. American Honda signed on as the presenting sponsor of Ride for Kids in 1991, the same year the Pediatric Brain Tumor Foundation was established.
Today, Ride for Kids events take place in dozens of cities across the United States. Motorcyclists have helped raise more than $70 million for our mission to date.
The Traynors were succeeded by experienced health nonprofit executive Robin Boettcher, who served as president and CEO from September 2012 to September 2018. She led the organization in implementing a strategic plan to develop new revenue streams and expand mission programs.
Bill Tiller, a noted nonprofit leader and longtime child advocate, was appointed CEO and president by the PBTF's Board of Directors in January 2019.
The PBTF launched its first regional chapter when the Brain Tumor Foundation for Children in Atlanta, which had benefited from early Ride for Kids fundraising efforts, became the PBTF Georgia Chapter in July 2014. The We Can Pediatric Brain Tumor Network became our California Chapter in August 2016, and our Illinois Chapter and Northeast Chapter began their work in January 2017 and July 2018, respectively. Following the expansion of family support programs across the country, the PBTF and A Kids' Brain Tumor Cure merged in late 2018 to fund more research across the widest breadth of childhood brain tumors.
The PBTF launched a second national fundraising event in October 2014. The Starry Night Walk to Cure Childhood Brain Tumors takes place across the country to increase awareness, raise funds and inspire hope for families living with a pediatric brain tumor diagnosis. In October 2016, the Vs. Cancer Foundation combined forces with the PBTF. The successful Vs. Cancer fundraising campaign provides a platform for any sports team, any athlete, any community to help kids with cancer.