Richard M. Schulze is the founder and chairman emeritus of Best Buy Co., Inc., the world’s largest multi-channel, consumer-electronic retailer. His connection to mesothelioma is a personal one. In 2001, Mr. Schulze lost his wife Sandra to mesothelioma. His current wife, Maureen, also lost her first husband to the same cancer.
Mr. Schulze’s family foundation donated $100,000 to the Meso Foundation, half of which will go toward the Foundation’s Patient Travel Grant Program. The focus area of the Richard M. Schulze Family Foundation is to create grant partnerships with organizations that can generate transformational results in education, human services and health.
Regarding the donation, Melinda Kotzian, CEO of the Meso Foundation, stated, “In the last year, we saw a 44% increase of patients and family members seeking support. This gift comes at the right time to help us ensure that we can fulfill such a demand.”
The Patient Travel Grant Program, one of the programs directly funded by the Schulze gift, provides a one-time grant of up to $1,000 to cover expenses incurred by a patient (exceptions made for recurring clinical trial visits). This $1,000 grant can cover the costs of travel, lodging and meals. To receive a grant, patients are required to complete an application and document significant financial need. The grant is paid by check directly to the patient.
This program is a crucial part of the services provided by the Meso Foundation. Mesothelioma treatment requires the expertise of a specialist who has extensive mesothelioma experience. Such experts are available at a limited number of centers, access to which often requires the patient to travel. Mesothelioma patients can greatly benefit from consulting with an expert. In many cases, the mesothelioma expert will be able to work with the patient’s local physicians to guide them through a more specialized treatment.
“We believe that every patient should have the chance to be seen by an appropriate mesothelioma expert, regardless of their ability to pay,” Melinda added. “Our Foundation and the entire mesothelioma community are infinitely grateful to the Schulze Family for their generous gift and belief in the work of the Meso Foundation.”
You can help support the Meso Foundation’s vital programs and patient services by giving to our year-end fundraiser at curemeso.org/savelives.
Learn more about the Meso Foundation’s Patient Travel Grant Program at curemeso.org.