The Payden Memorial Foundation is a community-based nonprofit 501(c) (3) organization, run solely by volunteers, who are dedicated to improving the lives of individuals, families and groups in Montana caring for children with cancer.
The Payden Memorial Foundation is named in honor of Payden Polsak, a six year old boy who died in November 2001 as a result of a medulloblastoma brain tumor. It was founded as a result of personally experiencing the hardships and tremendous needs, on so many levels, for families in Montana with children diagnosed with cancer.
Since 2001, The Payden Memorial Foundation has supported 187 Montana families with childhood cancer, has given over $500,000 in financial assistance and has donated over $50,000 to other Montana Charities supporting children with cancer and $30,000 to pediatric cancer research. We hope one day a cure for all cancer will be found. Until that day we will fight to make the rough road a little smoother.
Our mission is to provide quality of life, access to care, and to bring hope, courage, and smiles to the faces of the children battling cancer.
Payden Leman Polsak
Payden or “PD” as he was known to friends and family, was born at home in Livingston on January 10, 1995. He was a delightful baby, who at an early age showed a unique gift to stay clean. At 9 months old he could feed himself with a spoon and would refuse to eat anything without silverware.
As Payden grew he also developed an amazing gift in sports. He loved to play all sports, but his favorite was baseball. On any given day you could drive by his house and see him and his brother, Murphy and sister, Katie playing baseball in the yard. Even after surgery, when his strength and balance were affected, he was able to hit home run after home run until it was too dark to play. His favorite team was the Seattle Mariners and would not go anywhere without his Mariners All-Star Game cap.
Payden was very shy, but he possessed an amazing smile that would light up a room and as well as your heart. He was kind and thoughtful and always willing to lend a hand with chores or projects. He loved music, movies, and swimming at Chico. He had a very sophisticated and charming sense of humor. Throughout his journey, he was always able to lighten up a difficult situation with a funny comment or a joke.
Payden seemed to live a full life time in his six years. He grew out of his shyness and became quite outgoing and friendly. He made the most out of every good day and showed more courage than any person could possess in getting through the bad days. He was an amazing gift from God.
Payden died at his home on November 21, 2001, having taught us about the spirit of life, the joy of love, and the importance of our memories.