In 1974 Msgr. Russell “Russ” Kohler began working with cancer youth and established the Pope John XXIII Hospitality House for Cancer Outpatients & Families (Learn More). This unique homelike residence near the Detroit Medical Center hospitals provided a temporary residence to cancer patients undergoing outpatient treatment and their families, along with transportation services and recreational outings. The STAT Patients Family Services organization was established to provide administration of the facility.
Upon the passing of Msgr. Russ in 2016, the Board of Directors for STAT Patients Family Services conducted extensive market research to determine the ongoing need for temporary housing for children undergoing treatment for cancer in the Metro Detroit area. Through this research the Board concluded that there was a lack of demand for this type of service.
The research also provided the Board with insight as to the financial challenges facing families with a child afflicted with cancer.
So in 2018, a decision was made by the Board of Directors to sell the Hospitality House property and use the assets from the sale, along with other assets, to establish the Msgr. Russ Kohler Children’s Cancer Endowment Fund. The income earned from the assets of this fund, coupled with donations and other fund-raising activities, will be used to provide financial aid to those families with a child who is undergoing cancer treatment. The financial support will be provided through our grant program.
Our grants are based upon the specific needs of a particular family and are designed to offset the hidden costs for families as they battle cancer. Grant money may be used to cover the costs of temporary lodging while the child undergoes treatment, child care expenditures, transportation costs, lost wages and more.
Although the organization cannot meet every request, it is our intention to provide some assistance to those in need through this grant program.
Get to know some of the children battling cancer whose families have received financial assistance through the Msgr. Russ Kohler Children's Cancer Endowment Fund grant program. The Board of Directors is honored to carry on Msgr. Kohler's altruistic legacy.
The Msgr. Russ Kohler Children's Cancer Endowment Fund grant program has been able to provide financial assistance to families in need in part through The Rainbow Connection in Rochester, MI. In the spring of 2020, we received these accolades from the directors of this important program that grants wishes to Michigan children with life-threatening illnesses.
"First of all, THANK YOU! [for your financial assistance] This is AMAZING news for these special families that are in such difficult situations at the moment. So many things have happened to increase the uncertainty for them, most recently the pandemic.
This assistance that you are providing to these fragile families is such an incredible gift. Calling to make them aware of your commitment to them, and hearing their shouts of joy or tears of hope over the phone – you are making SUCH a difference!
THANK YOU for relieving some pressure from these families and allowing them to focus on their child and families."
Ingrid Todt, Wish Director,
The Rainbow Connection
"…thank you for your generous support of our wish families here at The Rainbow Connection. As you are aware, these past several months have been unprecedented times.
The COVID-19 pandemic has impacted the health and welfare of so many people. At the same time, many of our fragile kids have been quarantined to protect their weakened immune system. This in turn has forced parents to stay home with their children. Many of our families experienced work stoppages and layoffs compounding their already difficult situations.
The Kohler Cancer Fund helped shore up their financial setbacks so they can focus on helping their child through their medical procedures and treatment all while trying to keep them safe from the virus. Thank you for the amazing work that you do to help families in need."
George J. Miller, Executive Director,
The Rainbow Connection
To learn more about The Rainbow Connection, visit rainbowconnection.org
Learn more about our foundation's namesake
Throughout his life, Msgr. Russ Kohler played an active role in many community and church-affiliated organizations, and through these good works, touched the lives of many individuals …
Read news clippings about Msgr. Russ Kohler's generous charity
Msgr. Russ Kohler and the Pope John XXIII Hospitality House were featured in many publications including the Detroit News, the Detroit Free Press and more …
STAT Patients Family Services, which administers the Msgr. Russ Kohler Children's Cancer Endowment Fund, functions entirely through the use of volunteers. The use of volunteers enables our organization to ensure our contributors that the vast majority of the funds provided to the organization go directly to supporting our families.
The costs associated with our organization are generally limited to website hosting and maintenance, phone, printing, postage, tax preparation, annual audit, and costs related directly to various fund-raising events.
For more information, to make a donation, or to apply for a grant, please email us at info@KohlerKidsCancer.com