About The Pablove Foundation

Our foundation’s pablove story began in 2008, when Pablo Thrailkill-Castelaz was diagnosed with bilateral Wilms Tumor, a rare form of childhood cancer. After 13 months of treatment, Pablo passed away six days after his sixth birthday. The whole extended community affected by his diagnosis—friends, family, teachers, classmates and neighbors—wrapped its collective arms around him. Their love inspired us, and The Pablove Foundation was born.

Too many families are placed on a similar journey, with no warning or guidance. That’s why The Pablove Foundation is dedicated to our mission to:

  • Improve the lives of children living with cancer through the arts
  • Invest in underfunded, cutting-edge pediatric cancer research

It’s what we call fighting childhood cancer with love.

Today, our Pablove Shutterbugs photography program, our signature arts education curriculum serving kids 6-18 with cancer, has served nearly 1,200 students in eight cities across the country, and we’ve provided more than $2.2 million in pediatric cancer funding to researchers on the leading edge of their fields worldwide.

We are a Platinum-level GuideStar Exchange Participant. Every donation to The Pablove Foundation helps us realize our mission:

Invest in underfunded, cutting-edge pediatric cancer research:
A young, growing foundation, Pablove has begun to make its mark. In the past eight years, our childhood cancer research grants have totaled $1,900,000 in funding for innovative research projects. More about our most recent round of grants can be found here. As a parent-founded organization, one of our primary commitments is to fund innovative childhood cancer research that addresses real and pressing issues faced by children with cancer.

Improve the lives of children living with cancer through the arts:
Allowing kids with cancer to still be kids is something that is very dear to us. Our signature program is Pablove Shutterbugs, a photography program for pediatric cancer patients and survivors. The curriculum for this program allows children living with cancer to express and develop their creative voices through the art of photography. Each child receives hands-on experience through a mix of one-on-one weekly instruction and group classes. The students also receive their own camera equipment, which is theirs to keep upon completion of the program. Once a year we celebrate the students’ photographic achievements and raise awareness of childhood cancer with a Pablove Shutterbugs gallery show at an art gallery. Since its inception, this program has served over 1000 children living with cancer in Los Angeles, New York, New Orleans, Denver, San Francisco, Boston, Miami and through partnerships throughout the U.S.

Childhood Cancer Support

In this troubling time, you’ll find that others who are “in your shoes” will be your greatest source of support. See if there are any Facebook groups of other parents with your child’s diagnosis as well; but as always, exercise caution when sharing personal information on the Internet.

You may quickly learn that many people want updates on your child’s treatment, how they are feeling, how the family is doing, etc. It can become overwhelming considering how much you are already juggling! The easiest way to keep everyone updated is by starting a Caringbridge site (http://www.caringbridge.org/). It’s sort of like a blog/social network for families dealing with illness. You can adjust the privacy setting however you like and your followers can choose to be notified whenever a new update is posted. It really helps families who want to keep their loved ones updated but can’t make 28 phone calls every time a treatment milestone occurs. Some people even have friends maintain or help with their Caringbridge site to make it more manageable.

Don’t forget to make use of resources at your treatment facility; social workers and child life professionals are trained to help you get through treatment, whether you need financial or travel assistance, emotional support, or access to activities to help the whole family get through treatment. Doctors and nurses are often focused on medical treatments and may not direct you to these services, but take advantage of what your hospital has to offer no matter your socioeconomic status. The LIVESTRONG Foundation’s Cancer Navigation Services Hotline is a particularly good place to start if you have a lot of questions.


Direct financial support does not fall into our mission at this time, however Cancer.net maintains a Resources page where you may find other organizations that provide information or financial/travel assistance to families: https://www.cancer.net/navigating-cancer-care/children/childhood-cancer-resources

Donations and Fundraising

The Pablove Foundation’s Tax Identification Number and/or Employee Identification Number is 26-3006100.

Individuals who would like to host an event that raises awareness or funds for The Pablove Foundation can become a grassroots fundraiser. Our Development Team will help you get started, and you’ll find lots of helpful assets in our Fundraiser Toolkit to make your event a success. We can also create a personal fundraising page where donors can contribute to your efforts online. Contact development@pablove.org to get started.

Please make all checks payable to The Pablove Foundation. All donations should be mailed to:

The Pablove Foundation

3255 Cahuenga Blvd West, Suite 210

Los Angeles, CA 90068

If you are making a donation in honor or memory of a loved one, please include a note with the name of the honoree as well as the method in which you would like us to notify the honoree or their loved ones of the gift (if applicable).

If you are making a donation to a personal fundraising project, please include a note with the name of the individual you are donating to, or write their name in the memo line of the check. Your gift will be credited to their online fundraising page as soon as it is processed.

Please do not mail cash.

If you would like to donate cash, or if you are a fundraiser and you receive a cash donation, please convert the cash to a cashier’s check and mail it with a note that states the donor’s personal information so an accurate receipt can be generated for tax purposes. Please do not deposit the cash into your own account and write The Pablove Foundation a check for that amount; the IRS will consider that personal income and we will not be able to generate a tax receipt. If you have multiple cash donations from different donors you can convert them to one cashier’s check and include a note that indicates the amount each individual contributed.

Please contact our Development Department at:
development@pablove.org or 323-657-5557.

Employer matching gift programs are fantastic ways to fundraise for The Pablove Foundation. Each employer has a different policy on matching gifts. Please inquire with your supervisor or human resources office to determine your company’s policy.
To ensure that matching gift donations are credited towards your fundraising efforts, please write your name on your employer’s matching gift form or indicate that the donation is for you in some way.

If you did not retain your original email or post receipt for your donation, please email The Pablove Foundation at info@pablove.org or call us at 323.657.5557 to obtain a new copy.

Matching Gifts

If a matching gift company does not approve a matching gift, the company will notify you or The Pablove Foundation. If Pablove is contacted, we will pass the information to you.

Each company has different requirements and procedures, so please contact your personnel/human resources office for specific directions. If The Pablove Foundation is not already listed as an option for your company, obtain the appropriate matching gift verification form and mail, email, or fax the form and a copy of your donation receipt to:

The Pablove Foundation
6607 W. Sunset Blvd.
Los Angeles, CA 90028
Email: development@pablove.org
Fax Number: 323.952.2897

Yes. We will add the matching gift to the fundraiser’s page as soon as we receive and process the donation. Please make sure that your employer includes a memo that indicates the name of the individual whose campaign the donation is meant to credit.

If you are a fundraiser, you are also eligible to apply your own employer’s matching gifts to any donations you’ve personally made to your campaign.

Unfortunately, we are not able to credit donations that have not been received. We do this because an employer can, at any time, amend its program and/or payout schedule. Once funds are received they will be credited to a fundraising page.

If a donor makes a check out to you, simply endorse the check with your signature and “Payable to The Pablove Foundation.” Please note that the account holder on the check will receive the tax receipt from The Pablove Foundation.

The Pablove Foundation processes the matching gift form as soon as we receive it. If the matching company approves the matching gift, the company will send a check for the matching gift according to their company guidelines. Please contact your personnel/human resources office directly to find out how often matching gift checks are cut and mailed, as it varies for each company. For example, some companies may process matching gift requests on a rolling or immediate basis. Other companies process matching gifts once per quarter, which means your request may take up to three months.

Many companies offer matching gift programs that will match, or even double, a donation’s value. Check with your company to find out if your company will match your donation to The Pablove Foundation. If you have questions about your company’s matching gift program, please contact your personnel/human resources office.

Pablove Across America

Yes! Our training schedule and personalized coaching is a perk of joining the ride. Designed by a certified USA Cycling Coach, all riders receive a training program specifically designed for Pablove Across America. Riders will develop the endurance, strength, and skills needed to have a successful ride with Team Pablove. Several rides a week take place in Los Angeles. To find out if there is a Pablove Cycling Club training or hosting group rides near you, join our Facebook group.

Yes. Registrations for full ride and one-day riders are accepted on a first-come, first-served basis. We are fully booked for 2018’s tenth anniversary ride, so please stay tuned and join us in 2019!

Yes. One-week riders must be 18 years of age or older.

While we cannot require you to hold personal health insurance, we highly recommend that all participants do maintain personal health insurance coverage. You will be required to submit a copy of your state-issued ID and valid insurance card to The Pablove Foundation to participate in the ride.

Yes. You must raise a minimum of $7,500 to participate in the one-week ride. There are no exceptions. In the event that you do not meet the minimum fundraising requirement by the deadline, The Pablove Foundation has the authority to and will charge your credit card for the remaining balance. If you continue to fundraise after your credit card has been processed with the remaining balance, The Pablove Foundation will reimburse your card upon written request. No reimbursements will be processed after December 31, 2019. All donations processed by The Pablove Foundation are non-refundable and non-transferable, even if you do not participate in the event. The registration fee is also non-refundable, non-transferable and not tax deductible.

Yes. The last day to withdraw your participation in a one-week ride is August 5, 2018. After August 4, 2018 at 11:59pm Pacific Time you are responsible for the $7,500 fundraising goal whether you participate in the ride or not.

No. The one-week ride is not for beginning riders. To participate you must be able to; comfortably ride 500 to 600 miles in five days, complete a solo century (100 miles) in six hours, draft behind other riders, work with several other riders in a paceline formation at speeds ranging from 15 to 25 miles per hour and have experience riding in the rain.

Each one-week rider must pay a $100 registration fee at the time of registration.

We provide a professional grade experience, including bike mechanic and soigneur services, nutritious meals and on-bike food and drink, and double-occupancy hotel rooms along the route for one-week riders. All riders will be provided with a Team Pablove kit (short-sleeve jersey/bib shorts) upon meeting the $7,500 fundraising minimum. You are also rewarded with exclusive fundraising incentives! All registered cyclists are responsible for the logistics and costs of their own personal travel and bike shipping to and from the start and end points of the ride. If you prefer a single room during the ride you must pay in advance for a room upgrade by The Pablove Foundation ($100/night). All meals will be provided by Pablove during the ride. Pablove will be covering double-occupancy lodging for all riders in the  beginning and ending the last night of the ride. Riders are responsible for arranging their own hotel accommodations in Los Angeles.

All registered one-week riders receive a 30% discount on selected Pablove cycling apparel. Email Director of Team Pablove, Kerry Quakenbush at kerry@pablove.org for details on how to place an order.

The Pablove Foundation tries to choose a unique route every year that allows us to spread awareness about childhood cancer throughout new communities. If you want to participate in one of our events but are prohibited due to distance, please consider joining Team Pablove. Team Pablove is an individual fundraising opportunity where athletes of all skill levels can participate in any athletic event and fundraise for The Pablove Foundation. If your passion lies in organizing an athletic event, please contact development@pablove.org to participate in our grassroots fundraising program.

Pablove Shutterbugs

Pablove Shutterbugs is currently offered as a virtual program to keep everybody safe during these unprecedented times. We welcome children and teens living with cancer from any location, including while in the hospital.  Once it becomes safe again, we will offer in-person classes in our major program cities. Our in-person classes are an out-of-hospital program. Although priority goes to children who are currently in treatment, we accept all students who have been diagnosed at any point in their life. Please reach out to a Pablove Shutterbugs staff member if you are unsure about a particular child’s eligibility. Age ranges that we accept depend on the type of programming that we offer:

  • Virtual and In-person, Classroom Based, Community of Learners Program: 6-18 years old
  • In-person Alumni Summer Camp/ Virtual Summer Intensives: 8-18 years old
  • In-person Advanced Class (LA and NY only): 15-25 years old

No. Pablove Shutterbugs is a participatory arts education program that allows children to learn in an environment where they are taken away from the stresses of treatment and allows them to be, for a short period of time, just like any other student in a place where cancer is not an issue and spend time with their peers. Our approach focuses on learning and mastering an art form thereby improving quality of life.

Pablove Shutterbugs students learn the ins and outs of their camera and learn fundamental concepts that help them develop their artistic eye and creative voices. When students finish, they will be able to compose, consider lighting, and tell stories through photography.

Our structured curriculum is designed to foster a sense of accomplishment, confidence and self-expression in each student who participates.

Pablove Shutterbugs programs include:

  • Core National Programs: We offer 6-week Pablove Shutterbugs virtual programs and, when it is possible again, in-person programs in various locations across the country. Each program takes place twice a year.
  • Classroom Based, Community of Learners: A 6-week out-of-hospital photography program taught by an accomplished lead teaching artist. During the course, kids and teens, ages 6-18 attend in-person group classes and learn photography fundamental concepts and techniques.
  • Virtual, Community of Learners: The same as our classroom based program, except that our students attend classes using Zoom video conferencing. The virtual classes are open to students living anywhere. The virtual program is possible as an in-hospital option as well.
  • Alumni Summer Camp/Summer Intensive: The Alumni Summer Camp/Intensive takes place in the greater Los Angeles Area once a year. Our 3-day overnight camp experience for Pablove Shutterbugs Alumni ages 8-18, allows our students to broaden their knowledge of photography, participate in extracurricular activities, and become lifelong learners in the arts. The camp is an opportunity for past students to continue participating in our growing Pablove community. In 2021, Pablove offered a virtual Summer Intensive. Public health permitting, the 2022 Summer Camp will be in-person again!

Pablove Shutterbugs teaches children living with cancer to develop their creative voice through the art of photography.

Pablove Shutterbugs is always looking for others to join our community! We offer a variety of ways to get involved:

  • Teaching Assistants: Volunteer Teaching Assistants support the instructors during classes. They work closely with groups of students by communicating lessons using age appropriate language and provide guidance and encouragement to their cohort.
  • Medical Staff (Los Angeles only): Volunteer Medical Staff work with us during our three day overnight summer camp to ensure the safety and wellness of our students. They include physicians, physician assistants and nurses. Their main responsibilities include administering medications, first aid, health assessments, emergency response and more.
  • Photographers: Volunteer Photographers help document our Pablove Shutterbugs programs during group classes. The Pablove Foundation shares these photos from class with our families, on social media, and uses these images for marketing and outreach.
  • Translators: Volunteer Translators help out by communicating with non-English speakers. They ensure that all families have a pleasant experience with the program.
  • General Volunteers: General Volunteers help out where it is most needed. Their tasks may  include being an extra set of hands during classes or by helping to recruit students through tabling sessions at our partner hospitals.
  • Interns: Pablove Shutterbugs interns are generally passionate about youth programs, community outreach and photography. They are paramount to the program’s success. Lasting three months, interns participate in a balance of administrative duties and learning opportunities in a fast-paced, structured and supportive working environment.

Please sign up for our Volunteer List to receive the latest volunteer opportunities near you!

If you have questions, comments, or concerns, please send an email to shutterbugs@pablove.org

Our program is designed to address feelings of isolation and uncertainty that many kids diagnosed with cancer experience by providing a learning environment that fosters a sense of normalcy. Developing a sense of independence and creating friendships with other children living with cancer helps students cope with and find an outlet for self-expression during a time where so much is out of their control. Therefore, priority is given to students with cancer.

Especially for our in-person programs, the majority of our programs are family friendly allowing all members to participate, such as attending class field trips and graduation ceremonies. Many of our Pablove Shutterbugs students teach their siblings their lessons and use them as the subjects of their photography assignments. 

If you wish to enroll your child’s sibling(s), please contact shutterbugs@pablove.org directly.

When The Pablove Foundation co-founders Jo Ann Thrailkill and Jeff Castelaz were going through treatment with their son Pablo, they found that there was a strong need for programming that allowed “kids to just be kids.” Treatment schedules, stress, and isolation from peers take a toll on children who are undergoing medical care. Research has shown that the arts have the power to uplift the human spirit, provide a person an outlet to focus on something positive, and is a tool for self-expression. Pablove Shutterbugs is an out-of-hospital arts program that allows children to come together and work with professionals in the field of photography to develop their artistic skills. Photography is a good match because of its accessibility to a large age range, portability, and functionality. One of the unique aspects of Pablove Shutterbugs is our flexibility and bringing the program bedside if the student is undergoing treatment at the hospital.

For in-person group classes, parents are not required to come to class and can leave their child without parental supervision with a signed waiver. In these cases, we encourage parents to stay within a  5 – 10 minute driving distance of the class location.

For virtual programming, it can be helpful to have an adult or older sibling nearby to assist with potential technology challenges. However, we have found that with so many kids having become pros with virtual learning, this is only a consideration for the youngest students.

For our Alumni Summer Camp, students are engaged in an overnight camp experience and spend time away from home for three days.

Research Grants

A seed grant is a $50,000 award to help launch new research on an innovative idea.

To be eligible for high-level government or corporate research dollars, researchers have to show results for their ideas. But that data cannot be gathered without funds to support their initial work – this causes a catch-22 for the most out-of-the-box solutions to childhood cancer. Our Childhood Cancer Research Grants invest in these new ideas, helping to plant the seed for the next big breakthrough.

We seek out the best and brightest researchers in the world and award $50,000 seed grants to the most innovative projects. Our Scientific Advisory Committee, comprised of 11 top international oncologists, looks for basic, translational, clinical, and epidemiological research that focuses on rare childhood cancers. Our grants are awarded based on their excellence of science and innovation in addressing real and pressing issues faced by children with cancer. Learn more under our Research section.

Our Childhood Cancer Research Grant cycle opens in early January on an annual basis. The purpose of these research grants is to fund senior postdoctoral fellows/junior faculty (M.D. or Ph.D.) or to provide seed money to established investigators for innovative basic, translational, clinical, and epidemiological research directed to pediatric and adolescent cancer. Applications that focus on rare childhood cancers will be given preference. Applications from senior fellows and junior faculty investigators are particularly encouraged.

To learn more or to see application guidelines, please visit our Grants page.