Many children from around the world face serious health challenges. But not all are able to access the life-saving or life-enhancing surgeries that they need because of where they live. In some countries the cost of care is too high and there is a lack of medical expertise.
SickKids is a global leader in surgical care, serving as a beacon of hope for children and families. Patients with complex conditions requiring major surgical interventions, such as brain surgery, heart surgery or facial reconstruction, come to SickKids from around the world to receive care not available in their home countries.
Through Herbie Fund-enabled surgical care at SickKids, the trajectories of young people’s lives are dramatically changed—in some cases, saving their lives, and in others, transforming their quality of life. With donor support, treatment expenses for international patients and their families are covered, including hospital stays, tests and clinical procedures. SickKids health-care specialists donate their time and expertise, waiving their fees to help ensure we are able to extend the Herbie Fund support to as many children as possible.
The Herbie Fund brings children across the globe to SickKids for lifechanging care. SickKids staff donate their time and expertise. Donors like you cover the rest. It’s philanthropy in synchronicity.
History of the Herbie Fund
It began with a single patient: Herbie Quinones of Brooklyn, New York. He was born with a rare birth defect that made it hard to breathe when swallowing food, which only SickKids had the expertise to fix. Dr. Robert Filler, the SickKids Surgeon in Chief, offered to operate for free, but Herbie’s family still couldn’t afford the hospital costs. So, the community rallied, led by Paul and Gina Godfrey, pooling their resources to bring baby Herbie to SickKids. In 1979, Herbie had his lifesaving operation—and the Herbie Fund was born.
Over the past 40 years, the Herbie Fund has brought more than 800 patients from over 100 countries to SickKids. Here, they’ve been treated for everything from heart defects to severe epilepsy by world-renowned specialists.