Maximilian Kolbe Schnittman was born on the feast day of St. Maximilian Kolbe – a Polish Franciscan friar that volunteered to die in place of a stranger at Auschwitz. In February 2011 an MRI revealed that 4-year old Max had a brain tumor. Together with Max and his two younger sisters, Max’s family journeyed to seek the medical team that would deliver health. These travels, long days and nights in the hospital, and the loving support of friends and family delivered the miracle of modern pediatric medicine. Two surgeries and four years later, Max is beating all odds and on the path to a long healthy life.
The Kolbe Fund incorporated in May 2013 as a result of fundraiser held in Max’s honor. With $7,000 in the bank and a commitment to celebrate the miracles that occur at top children’s hospitals, something spectacular was born!
In September 2013, The Kolbe Fund launched its Hopeful Nights program to provide emergency hotel lodging to financially struggling families that must travel to receive pediatric medical care. In this program’s first year, 471 nights of emergency lodging was provided to 194 families from 26 different states. The families come to the Philadelphia region to obtain pediatric medical treatment for a wide range of illnesses.
For families with sick children, priorities are rearranged and healthcare becomes the most primary concern. There is no distance too far or remedy unfit to ponder if can deliver the hope or promise of a cure. The Kolbe Fund was created to empower all families to seek out the finest care – no matter what their financial situation may be.
The Kolbe Fund is unique because the mission is not diagnosis specific. The story of Max’s illness started this movement, but The Kolbe Fund is a collection of many stories: A family coping with the trauma of a car accident; A baby girl from Minnesota suffering from a malignant brain tumor and looking for hope; A father traveling to see his hospitalized daughter over Thanksgiving; A single parent struggling with her sick 3 year old who has never consumed solid food; A young baby receiving emergency care for a newly diagnosed cardiac disorder – the list goes on. These stories drive the organization and are a celebration of the hope that modern medicine delivers.
For more information, please visit www.thekolbefund.org