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Kate Schnittman

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Photo by Tessa Marie Images

There can’t be anything worse for a parent than finding out her child has a brain tumor. Such was the case for Exton’s Kate Schnittman, who quit her job to care for her then 4-year-old son, Max, and her husband, Aaron. “I found a surgeon in Boston who believed he could remove the tumor without harming my son,” she recalls.

The doctor was successful, and the family was fortunate enough to be able to travel for care. When a second surgery was needed, friends raised funds to help cover expenses. 

That inspired Schnittman to create the charity named for her son, who takes his name from Maximilian Kolbe, the Patron Saint of Families. The Kolbe Fund approached social workers and places like the Ronald McDonald House to determine what families need. “I heard again and again that they need a place to stay,” Schnittman says.

Just like that, a simple but impactful mission to fund lodging was born. To date, the organization has provided more than 400 families with nearly 1,500 overnight stays.

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