Harry M Schmidt Foundation Mission Statement
The Harry M Schmidt Foundation was founded to coordinate and provide financial assistance for medical treatment to men battling Prostate Cancer. Proceeds generated from the Foundation will aide in providing financial, spiritual, and emotional support for applicants and their families during their treatment journey. The foundation is focused on increasing the number of Prostate Cancer Survivors.
Terri Lynn Schmidt - President and Founder
In April of 2012 Terri and her daughter’s lives would forever be changed when Harry, their loving husband and father, lost his 4-year battle to Prostate Cancer. Fortunately, Harry had the insurance and the financial means to broaden his treatment and life span with the more aggressive medicines prescribed for his advanced stages. These medicines reached well into the thousands to tens of thousands of dollars. Unfortunately, dollars needed for more aggressive treatments are above and beyond reach for many families.
“As I drove Harry and walked with him into the waiting room at the doctor’s office for his chemo treatment, I looked around the room at some of the families sitting, waiting their turns. I studied their faces full of concern and asked myself, ‘How are these families able to afford these treatments?’ I knew the cost that was involved.”
Coming from a family with limited means, Terri could relate to their financial concern. She was able to sympathize and feel the pain and struggle that takes place at times when trying to make ends meet. This concern and desire to help others led Terri to travel to Honduras and the Amazon River on mission trips. “While working with the women’s ministry in a village off the river, we sat and held a woman as she cried over just learning that she had breast cancer. Her sadness was due to the fact that she had no money for treatment.” Prostate cancer is as predominate in men as breast cancer is in women. “A lot of times men will choose to provide clothing for their family and food on the table rather than use their hard earned income to provide treatment for themselves. Especially, if they feel they have no hope.”
Upon Harry’s death, Terri decided to launch a foundation that could help provide men with the means of supporting their prostate cancer treatments. Quickly, she and her team worked feverishly to get the 501-c3 status solidified to move towards reaching their goal. Researching and discovering the need for a foundation to place money directly into the hands of facilitators working in conjunction with the patient, led to the basis of the mission behind the Harry M Schmidt Foundation.
“We chose to focus on raising funds to provide immediate relief to families struggling to afford the high cost of medicines and treatments and offer them a chance to extend their life span. If we can add one more day to the life of a husband, father, son, brother, or uncle our hearts will soar. We will have saved another ‘Hero’ that we call the men in our lives. Providing funds to preserve life, one man at a time is our mission.”
Harry M. Schmidt - Founded For Harry
Harry Schmidt, a Highland Park graduate in Dallas, Texas was a highly respected man amongst his family and peers. His gentle, soft-spoken, quick wit, and personable demeanor just added to his magnet drawing personality. Everyone knew that if they sought after truth and straight forward answers, they could count on Harry for his wisdom. Even with the world wide recognition of his funny car, the BLUE MAX, and being a member of the NHRA Drag Racing Hall-Of-Fame, Harry always remained humble and consistent.
When he decided to retire from drag racing, Harry ventured into the world of fine jewelry. HMS was founded in 1983 and quickly rose as one of the largest and most reputable fine jewelry import, manufactures, and wholesale companies in Dallas, Texas. A self-starter and strong entrepreneur, he also decided to become a self taught photographer in order to produce his large
jewelry catalogs. Having a strong sense of money management, he realized how he could reduce the expenses of the production by building his own photography set in the back of the HMS building that he helped design. After 17 years of success in his career, Harry was approached with a purchase offer for HMS. He accepted, retired, took his daughters out of private school, and began extensive travel to broaden their minds to adventure.
Harry was also an avid golfer. Having a low handy cap, he won the President’s Club Champion at Prestonwood Country Club in 1982. He took his game very serious and often became an advisor to many in helping them improve their game. After hitting and landing a hole-in-one at another club, he was awarded a new car. Something Harry was very familiar with. A perfectionist and man of order, he gave all he had into everything that he set out to accomplish. When his body was attacked by cancer, Harry lost all his strength and sadly had to set his clubs aside. A crushing blow to a man so strong and driven.
Being diagnosed in October of 2008 with Prostate cancer, Harry would spend the next 4 years in a battle for his life. A new way of life would consist of doctor office visits, emergency room stays, radiation treatments, surgery, chemo treatments, hormone therapy, and self injected serum developed by a German doctor. When all efforts to keep the cancer at bay could not slow down the aggressive spreading tumors, the cancer cells quickly consumed his bones and liver. Harry passed away on April 30th, 2012 in the arms of his wife with his daughters sitting right by his side.
On that day the Harry M Schmidt Foundation was conceived and put in to motion. There has been no turning back. Harry was the 1 out of 6 men statistic that died from Prostate cancer disease. Funding is needed to support the expensive treatment and therapies many men and their families cannot afford. Harry’s family, through the foundation, is determined to help extend and save the lives of others facing prostate cancer by using the funds raised from the generous support of our donors to do just that.