The Peterson Family Foundation

Media Contacts: 
Emily Sidley, (360) 870-1910,
Erika Taylor Montgomery, (408) 218-2391,

What is the Peterson Family Foundation?
The Peterson Family Foundation was established to help make the quality of life better for ill children and teens on their difficult journey towards healing; the Foundation does this by funding and expanding music therapy programs in hospitals both nationally and internationally.

Why was the foundation formed?
The Peterson Family Foundation was formed in 2003 after the passing of Karen Peterson, wife to Jeff and mother to twin boys, Kort and Eric. For 22 months Karen gracefully and valiantly battled lung cancer, while at the same time helping manage Eric’s diabetes leukemia. Thankfully, Eric fully recovered from his cancer.

Despite the enormously challenging yet rewarding years when Karen and Eric were sick, the Peterson’s met countless people full of knowledge, expertise, empathy and kindness. Prior to Karen’s passing, their family agreed they would do what they could to help these remarkable individuals and their organizations that are actively working to treat, and eventually cure, these life-threatening diseases.

Their primary mission is to seek out and support experts and institutions dedicated to enhancing and improving the lives of children and teens afflicted by life-threatening and life-long diseases.

Why Music Therapy?
Music therapy uses the physical, emotional, mental, aesthetic and spiritual facets of music to help people improve their overall health. Music therapy treatment uses music to reduce a patient’s pain, offer them the ability to express themselves without words and facilitate relaxation through singing, playing instruments, writing songs or listening to music.

How does music therapy help?
Music therapy is proven to:

  • Promote wellness
  • Manage stress
  • Alleviate pain
  • Express difficult feelings
  • Enhance memory
  • Improve communication
  • Promote physical rehabilitation

Find out more about the benefits of music therapy here.

Does the Peterson Family Foundation support any other causes?
The Peterson Foundation initially turned its focus to pediatric diabetes because it’s an illness Eric Peterson struggled with for years. As they spent more time visiting hospitals during the course of helping with the Foundation, Eric and his brother Kort were instrumental in directing the organization’s focus toward music therapy.

Which organizations does the Peterson Family Foundation support?
With the Peterson Family Foundation’s support, the music therapy program at UCSF Benioff Children’s Hospital San Francisco has grown from being able to care for less than 20% of children and teens to now almost 50% of the patients. They look forward to helping many more hospitals create and expand their music therapy programs as well.

The foundation currently supports the music therapy programs at these facilities:

The foundation currently supports these pediatric diabetes programs:

Who is the President of the Foundation?
Jeffery Peterson, a native of the San Francisco and Monterey Bay areas, heads the Peterson Family Foundation. His life took a dramatic turn when both of his twin boys, Eric and Kort, were diagnosed with diabetes and then Eric was also diagnosed with leukemia. Soon after, his wife, Karen, passed away from lung cancer. From these enormous challenges, Jeff’s life was propelled in a new direction. He became devoted to being a good father to Kort and Eric, who are now adults and living with diabetes. Jeff wished to honor his late wife and help others by founding the Peterson Family Foundation.

Where can donations be sent?

The Peterson Family Foundation greatly appreciates your financial gifts that help support music therapy programs throughout the San Francisco Bay Area.

Please mail your check or money order to:
John Brychel, CPA
12657 Alcosta Blvd., Suite 500
San Ramon CA 94583

Where is there more information?
More details about the Peterson Family Foundation and music therapy can be found at