'Help Hope Live' helps patients cover the cost of medical expenses for long-term illnesses or injuries

RADNOR, Pennsylvania (WPVI) -- When a medical emergency happens there are a lot of costs involved.

Help Hope Live is a non-profit located in Radnor, Pennsylvania, that helps patients raise the funds to cover medical expenses for long-term illnesses or injuries.

"37 years ago this organization was founded by our transplant surgeon who was a surgeon at Temple hospital, and he recognized that previous patients who needed heart transplant were unable to afford it," said Kelly Green, executive director of Help Hope Live.

Created by Dr. Jack Kolff, and Patricia Kolff, this non-profit supports patients with various medical conditions.

"Those who are facing transplant organ and cell transplant facing a spinal cord injury or traumatic brain injury, and also those people facing a catastrophic illness like cancer, like cerebral palsy," said Green.

While fundraising, clients are able to keep their current health insurance because the funds are not considered an asset.

"One, we lend our charitable status to people so that they can fundraise," said Green "We protect their Medicaid and their government assistance, and a critical element is that we verify that a medical condition exists, and we pay all the bills directly, there is no fraud."

Lauren Shevchek one of the thousands of patients assisted by Help Hope Live.

In 2013, she was an active student who enjoyed the arts and sports.

One day, with friends at a pool, she decided to take a dive that was catastrophic.

"I broke three vertebrae in my neck, and I was classified as a quadriplegic," said Shevchek. "And the first thing they say to you is, you're never going to walk again. And they turn to your parent and they say you have to become the master at fundraising.

Green said when you have a spinal cord injury, on average, the out of pocket medical expenses are over $72,000 a year.

"But the beauty of Help Hope Live is that it really bridges the gap between what it is that I need, like more than 25 days of therapy every year, as well as the uninsured medical expenses that they don't cover," said Shevchek.

More than 3000 patients a year have benefited from their services and over 6.2 million dollars were paid in medical bills.

Over 3000 patients a year have benefited from their services and over 6.2 million dollars were paid in medical bills.

"If it wasn't for Help Hope Live I really wouldn't be as progressive as I am today," said Shevchek. "Like I wouldn't be able to sit here and talk to you about this."
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