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We are a nonprofit changing the lives of children with critical illnesses, their families, and their treatment teams, one smile at a time.



It all started with one smile... Our story started in 2020, when our Founder and CEO, Maxim Manyak, a sophomore on the Varsity Men's Lacrosse Team at the University of Notre Dame, happened to meet 10-year-old lan, who was battling leukemia. He had a spinal tap and chemo coming up, and was in desperate need of a smile. Not knowing what to do, Max put together an encouraging and uplifting video from all 50 guys on his team, so that they could all be there with Ian the morning of his surgery. The next morning Ian’s nurse called, emotionally moved and crying with one big ask: “Can you help more than just Ian?” That is when Max knew that there were many more smiles to give.


During our first year, what started with just a simple promise between lan and Max grew into what will be a simple app-based platform to connect seriously ill children with collegiate athletes across the country. With our impact-driven team of athletes, Pediatric Pep Talk goes beyond the realm of athletics, catalyzing change in the lives of those who look up to them the most – children. This combination allows us to take a new approach on name, image and likeness in order to do good and deliver smiles through a simple, easy and scalable platform, by allowing these teammates to join a team no matter where they find themselves. One patient at a time, one smile at a time.


Athletic Departments We Have Contacts With

Meet the Team

Dedication. Compassion. Hope.

We have assembled the perfect team that is motivated by compassion, and bound by an inherent pursuit of gifting hope by committing to provide one smile a day to keep the doctor away.

Hospital Partners

Hospitals & Foundations We Have Worked With

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