Little p Project is inspired by Parker, founded by her family
Heather Mansson, President of Little p Project
Medical Advisory Team
MD, MS, FAAP
Dr. Fair is board-certified in pediatrics and pediatric hematology and oncology. He is an Associate Professor of Pediatric Hematology/Oncology at the University of Utah and treats solid tumor patients at Primary Children’s Hospital and the Huntsman Cancer Institute. Dr. Fair received his medical degree from Albany Medical College, completed his Pediatric residency at UT Southwestern in Austin at Dell Children's Hospital, and his pediatric hematology and oncology fellowship at the University of Utah. In addition, he also has a Master of Science degree from the University of Utah. Dr. Fair serves as the program director for the Primary Children’s Hospital Sarcoma and Musculoskeletal Tumor Program. At the nation level Dr. Fair serves on numerous committees and steering committees including the Rare Tumor Group and the Soft Tissue Sarcoma Groups within the Children’s Oncology Group.
Dr. Gradick received her undergraduate degree in Applied Social Ethics from Harvard College, her medical degree from the University of Wisconsin School of Medicine and Public Health, and Master of Health Science from the Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Medicine and Public Health in Baltimore, Maryland. She completed her internship at the Massachusetts General Hospital for Children, and her Pediatrics residency and a Hospice and Palliative Medicine fellowship at the University of Utah.
Dr. Gradick's clinical interests in trainee wellness, language inclusivity, and anti-racist health care reform. She is a member of the American Academy of Pediatrics, American Academy of Hospice and Palliative Medicine, and the Gold Humanism Honor Society. She also serves as the University of Utah Site Director for the Global Hospice and Palliative Medicine Fellowship in collaboration with St. Jude's Children's Research Hospital and the Unidad Nacional de Oncología Pediátrica in Guatemala. Currently, Dr. Gradick is an Assistant Professor at the University of Utah in the Division of Pediatric Palliative Care.
Dr. Gradick had the honor of meeting Parker and caring for her at the end of her life. Parker brought courage, wit, kindness, strength, and compassion to everything she did, and touched every provider she met with her generosity of spirit. Parker cared about the alleviating the suffering of others (people and animals), fighting for justice, and protecting the environment. She even won a Dundie from Steve Carell for "Nicest Person," which Parker reminded people she "won by a landslide." She is missed every day by the many people who adored her. During her life, her family was guided by what was loving for Parker. They continue to be guided by love in their commitment to the Little p Project, and it is a privilege to support their work.
Christine M. Heske
Dr. Heske is an Investigator in the Pediatric Oncology Branch at the National Cancer Institute and a board-certified pediatric hematologist-oncologist. She received her undergraduate degree in Biological Anthropology from Harvard College and her medical degree from The George Washington University School of Medicine and Health Sciences. She completed her pediatric internship and residency at Brown University-Hasbro Children's Hospital, followed by her fellowship training at the combined National Cancer Institute-Johns Hopkins University Pediatric Hematology and Oncology program. She currently leads the Translational Sarcoma Biology Section, which conducts bench and clinical research aimed at improving outcomes for patients with sarcoma. Dr. Heske is honored to be a part of the Little p Project.
MD, MS, MBA
Dr. Venkatramani is an Associate Professor at Baylor College of Medicine. After his medical training in India, he completed two pediatric residencies, first at Kings College in London and second one at University of Illinois. He completed his fellowship training at Children's Hospital Los Angeles. He has a master's in clinical investigations from University of Southern California and an MBA from University of Massachusetts. He is the section chief of oncology and director of rare tumor programs at Texas Children's Hospital. He is the scientific chair of the Children's Oncology Group Soft tissue sarcoma committee. He has published more than 100 manuscripts, and numerous book chapters.
Board of Directors
Holly is Heather’s younger sister as well as her best friend. She has been an amazing aunt to Parker since the day she was born. Holly is in her 24th year of teaching and has her Master’s in Education.
“This girl. I cannot begin to express what she means to my family and me. She is the closest thing my boys have to a sister and she is cooler at 10 than I will ever be. I’m not biased, that is just how amazing she is"
With a background as a Development Director for private schools on the West coast, as well as serving on numerous boards, Wendy brings expertise and passion to raising funds for non-profit organizations that benefit youth. Wendy is a school counselor for a Spanish immersion school in Oregon, where she is able to apply her love for working with children.
"I take great pride in being one of Parker's aunts. Parker and I shared a love for making slime, tik-toks, and silly jokes. Helping the lives of children is one of the most rewarding things in life for me and I am honored to be a part of this board to help do this in a meaningful way."
Mike is a Partner in a commercial real estate investment and development firm in Charleston, SC and has been actively working with non-profits since 2010 serving on various boards and executive committees since that time. Currently Mike serves as an executive committee member with the MUSC (Medical University of South Carolina) Hollings Cancer Centers’, LOWVELO, which is annual large scale fundraising event that rallies the community from near and far for one specific cause, funding lifesaving cancer research at the only National Cancer Institute-designated cancer center in South Carolina.
“I am honored to be part of the Little p Project. To be able to raise awareness in P’s name and to help in the fulfillment of some of P’s hopes and dreams such as killing cancer and helping people in need is something I take great pride in. I am a firm believer that with further awareness comes the opportunity to bring HOPE to a future patient and their family that are facing what Parker, her family and what far too many others have had to go through while battling cancer.”
Karen and her family moved to Park City around the same time as Parker’s family and were incredibly lucky to have found a home next to the Mansson family. They quickly become very close friends and her youngest Bella found best friends in her new neighbors Parker and Luca.
Originally from the UK she has a background in Finance and worked as a Project Manager and Client Relationship Manager for 10 years for the London Clearing House. They have 3 teen daughters, one who recently moved back to the UK to study medicine, and the other 2 enjoying life here in Park City.
"P always brought so much joy and laughter into our home, she gave Michael Jackson a run for his money on the Moon Walk and was a true soul mate for Bella.
I feel incredibly honored to be a part of The Little p Project, to help make a difference in Parker’s name and help others fighting this awful disease. "
Recently retired after working almost 20 years as a Tax and Estate Planning Attorney, Melissa found the nonprofit world calling her back to assist charities during the last few years as a Board Member and/or an advisor for their formation, exemption applications and governance. Her involvement with the Little p Project has re-ignited her passion for nonprofit law and she realized she is happiest in her personal and professional life when assisting clients in fulfilling their charitable goals.
Melissa has known Parker all of her short but influential life as a family friend and a significant source of inspiration. Parker and her family are the reason Melissa's children are at their beloved school and also are involved in so many charitable endeavors. When looking for schools Melissa literally thought - who are the kindest and most considerate children that we know and she didn't have to look further than the Mansson family.
"We continue to live as Parker would every day in honor of the truly beautiful legacy she created."
Lauren has had the opportunity to serve on several non-profit boards and in community leadership positions in her hometown of Charlotte, NC. She brings experience in fundraising, communication, and teamwork to her role on the Little p Project Board.
“We have known the Manssons for over 15 years and are fortunate enough to count them among our closest friends. Our three children have been friends with Maisey, Gates, and Parker since infancy and still enjoy a close friendship. Parker’s battle with soft tissue pediatric sarcoma was devastating for her to endure and continues to be devastating for her family as they grieve her loss. I am inspired by her brave fight and zeal for life even in the face of such a tremendous disease. I am proud to be part of The Little p Project to continue the legacy of our favorite tiny dancer, lover of animals, and protector of mother Earth.”
Throughout her career and nonprofit service Libby has followed her passion to help children. After serving as a Mecklenburg County Prosecutor for 5 years, Libby was elected to serve as a District Court Judge where she served in Family Court for 10 years. She stepped down to work for the Council For Children’s Rights before retiring. Libby also followed her passion of supporting and empowering kids in her non profit work. Over the years she has served on the boards of the YMCA. KinderMourn, Safe Alliance and Brookstone Schools.
“I have known Parker and the Mansson family since my daughter, Stryker, met her in kindergarten. It is impossible to capture Parker in words as she was and continues to be larger than life. I am honored to be apart of the Little p Project and continue Parker’s positive, giving and inspiring spirit. She has and will continue to change the world.”