Welcome to the Eric Burnstein Foundation Fund.
It is said that pain makes your world smaller. We hope the Eric Burnstein Foundation Fund helps open up the world for people living with chronic illness and invisible disabilities.
To provide grants to charitable and community organizations offering life-saving support, resources, and advocacy for people living with chronic illness and invisible disabilities.
The Eric Burnstein Foundation Fund was established in response to the life and loss of Eric Burnstein as a way to improve the support, treatment, and resources for people living with chronic illness and invisible disabilities (See Eric’s story below). Eric’s closest family and friends chose to take the love they have for Eric and honor his memory by helping charitable and community organizations in this field make a difference on a larger scale. We do this by identifying and contributing to organizations that are having the greatest positive impact on physical, mental, and emotional health.
To create an integrated care system that provides diagnosis, treatment, and advocacy for people living with chronic illness and invisible disabilities – a system that treats each individual with greater compassion, kindness, and understanding. And one that brings medical professionals together in a collaborative effort to offer hope and life-saving support to every person.
Our beautiful son, Eric Burnstein, grew up in Lafayette, California. He was blessed with a wonderful and witty sense of humor that he loved to share with family and friends – always looking over to see that they were enjoying the laugh along with him. At a young age, he developed a very sophisticated palette, and he took joy in planning family meals at home, or when going out to dinner and on vacation.
Eric fell in love with baseball and was more than your “average baseball fan.” He immersed himself in the game – the statistics, the history, the players, managers, umpires, announcers, and the pure joy of the sport. He loved catching “towering” fly balls whenever he would go with his dad and friends to get in some batting and fielding practice at a local ballpark. He especially loved the San Francisco Giants and could often be found watching them on TV, at a game with his glove ready to go, or traveling to Scottsdale for Spring Training.
Shortly after high school, Eric began developing symptoms associated with neurological inflammatory disease (possibly related to Lyme Disease). As time went by, his symptoms progressed, and he was unable to get clarity of diagnosis or effective treatment. He felt dismissed and let down by the healthcare system. With the help and support of his family, Eric became an advocate for his own health. He began researching for answers to the cause of his symptoms as well as possible treatments. He spent a great deal of time reading and dissecting medical publications, clinical trials, and research studies. He also connected with other people in a similar situation – individuals suffering from a host of neurological symptoms but without clear diagnosis, or treatment plans.
Over the next five years, Eric encountered a medical system that was not always empathetic to those individuals with difficult-to-diagnose conditions. As he found more people suffering from similar types of conditions, he discovered common themes: There was little, if any integrated and coordinated care and there was a lack of kindness and understanding for people living with chronic illness, invisible disabilities, and conditions that are difficult to diagnose and treat.
Despite his suffering, Eric maintained a kind heart and a keen sense of perception about the world around him. He was particularly sympathetic toward others who he could sense were struggling. He worked hard to complete his studies for his degree in web design and was working as a Product Specialist for a virtual reality company, focusing on providing products and resources to assist those living with chronic illness and invisible disabilities.
Eric taught us persistence, patience, and the importance of being kind and compassionate. He taught us that heroes come in many forms. Eric was our hero. He had hopes and dreams and he had it within him to achieve those. But during this last year, the suffering became too great, and he lost all hope. He said he wanted to leave this world while he still had some good memories – memories of the joyful times traveling with his family and friends, enjoying great food, going to ball games, and just having a good laugh together.
The Eric Burnstein Foundation Fund was established in honor of our son – an amazing and wonderful human being. Eric wanted us to tell his story – to “get the word out” about people like him that are suffering and have no one in the medical community to advocate for them. In Eric’s memory, we will work tirelessly to help others find the answers and treatment that Eric was so desperately seeking and could not find. And to make sure they are treated with greater compassion, kindness, and understanding.
We are eager to provide grants to organizations to help others who are dealing with chronic illness and invisible disabilities, so these special people have more good days than bad, experience the joys in the things that they love, and feel the weight of their impact on the world and the people they touch.
Donate to the Eric Burnstein Foundation Fund to help offer life-saving resources to people living with chronic illness and invisible disabilities. Our foundation is hosted within the East Bay Community Foundation. For nearly 100 years, the East Bay Community Foundation has connected donors with community-led movements. Today, the foundation is supported by 400+ donors and has over $800 million of charitable assets under management.
We greatly appreciate your donation!
You may also pay by check.
Please make all checks out to:
The East Bay Community Foundation, Attn: Eric Burnstein Foundation Fund
East Bay Community Foundation
200 Frank H. Ogawa Plaza
Oakland, CA 94612
Marc Burnstein, Michelle Burnstein, Danielle Burnstein, Jim Danhakl, Brianna Frisch
Tom Williams, DrPH; Mary Faulkner, RN, MSN, NP; Madeline Mendelsohn, Educator; Anna Peare, MPH; Molly Davis, Founding Partner, Rainmaker Communications
Erica Moore, Shelley Hamilton