Max Lindert, his wife Kris and two boys, hail from Hazlehurst, Wisconsin, and currently live on the Olympic Peninsula in Washington State. An organic farmer, he has operated a small family farm serving local farmers markets and communities in and around Port Townsend.
Max found out he had colorectal cancer in 2017. Over the course of his cancer battle, he faced 4 rounds chemotherapy, 30+ days radiation treatment and numerous trips to Seattle for specialized care.
He recounted the challenges of radiation treatment and the challenges he faced as a rural patient. At one point over the course of 30 days, he faced radiation every day. It was a 40-minute drive to the nearest treatment location. There was of course the mental and physical toll. And there were logistical issues, too. His wife couldn’t take off work. Max couldn’t work himself. If not for a local church group providing free transportation to each radiation treatment, waiting for him and driving him home – he wouldn’t have been able to make it.
He is quick to note that he felt fortunate because he “only” had to travel 40 minutes for his oncology department joking that’s the benefit of being near the “big city” of Port Townsend. But for many other rural patients, they aren’t so close. The reality isn’t a joke – having to drive hours for radiation, fusion hydration or other treatment is a big deal on many levels – physically, emotionally, financially.
After being in remission, Max learned this spring that his cancer had returned in his lymph nodes. This May, he is scheduled for surgery and potentially chemotherapy to follow. For this, he will have to go to Seattle, a trip he’s had to make numerous times already this spring – at an average cost per trip for transportation alone, including car, ferry, parking at $100. That’s not to mention any lodging costs or other related travel costs.
When Max goes in for surgery, his wife will drop him off in Seattle and return home to work and take care of their two boys. Max will have to face the week of surgery in Seattle without family.
Want to help this cause? Additional medical bills, lost wages, transportation costs – these are some of the ways we can support Max and his family.
About Kathy's House
Kathy's House is a hospital guest house committed to providing affordable lodging and caring support in a "home away from home" environment for patients and their families who need to travel to Milwaukee for medical care. Since opening in 2001, Kathy’s House has provided lodging, a supportive environment, and amenities such as transportation to area hospitals to more than 17,000 individuals.
Many families who stay at Kathy’s House are from low or fixed income households. By providing access to care for these families, we help address a profound societal ill; health disparities among low income and underrepresented groups such as families living in rural areas. The majority of Kathy’s House guests live in rural areas or cities much smaller than Milwaukee. By providing housing for these patients and their family members while they are obtaining advanced medical treatment in Milwaukee, Kathy’s House is helping to reduce these health disparities.
Due to mounting healthcare costs, lost wages, and travel costs, many families traveling to Milwaukee for medical care are unable to afford hotels. Studies show that a medical diagnosis, including cancer, brings financial burden to families. One third of guests report incomes <$30,000, and many of these low-income families include children. They are able to donate little, if anything, toward the cost of their stays.
The actual cost per night to stay at Kathy’s House is $87. Our average guest donation is $32 per night. Yet, Kathy’s House does not turn anyone away due to an inability to pay; we know that there are significant consequences in doing so. Forty percent of our guests have indicated they would not have been able to access medical care without a facility such as Kathy’s House.
For more information about Kathy’s House, please visit www.kathys-house.org.