The Terri Schiavo Life & Hope Network upholds human dignity through service to the medically vulnerable.
We express this mission through public advocacy of essential qualities of human dignity—which include the right to food and water, the presumption of the will to live, due process against denial of care, protection from euthanasia as a form of medicine, and access to rehabilitative care—as well as through 24/7 Crisis Lifeline service to at-risk patients and families.
Our Founding & History
Terri Schiavo. Her name is seared into the national memory as a face of the right-to-life movement, but many are now too young to remember her witness.
At the age of 26, Terri experienced a still unexplained collapse while at home alone with Michael Schiavo, who subsequently became her guardian. After a short period of time, Michael lost interest in caring for his brain injured, but otherwise healthy, young wife. Terri was not dying, and did not suffer from any life-threatening disease. She was neither on machines nor was she “brain dead.”
To the contrary, she was alert and interacted with friends and family—before her husband subsequently abandoned his wedding vows, warehoused her in nursing homes, and eventually petitioned the courts for permission to deliberately starve and dehydrate her to death. Michael finally testified, after many years of legal maneuverings against the Schindler family, that his wife had told him prior to her accident that she would not have wanted to live in a brain injured condition.
This hearsay evidence led to Terri’s right to life instead being portrayed as a “right to die” or “end of life” issue. On the order of Judge George W. Greer, Terri was deprived of water and food and after 13 days, Terri died on March 31, 2005 of dehydration.
Terri’s parents and siblings, supported by hundreds of thousands who witnessed to Terri’s right to life in the years before her court-ordered death, created the Terri Schiavo Life & Hope Network to serve medically vulnerable persons at risk of being marginalized rather than supported in love.
Since its founding in 2005, the Terri Schiavo Life & Hope Network has advocated and assisted more than 2,500 medically vulnerable patients and families.
Board of Directors
Brad Mattes, Chairman
Brad Mattes is the President and CEO of Life Issues Institute. He is a three-time Regional Emmy award winning host and executive producer of the pro-life TV program, Facing Life Head-On. He also hosts Life Issues, a daily radio commentary on abortion, euthanasia and related issues. Additionally, Mr. Mattes is president of the International Right to Life Federation. A veteran of the pro-life cause, he is committed to the protection of innocent human life.
Bobby Schindler, President
Bobby Schindler, President of the Terri Schiavo Life & Hope Network, received his bachelor’s degree in marketing from LaSalle University in 1987, and his meteorology from Florida State University in 1996. Beginning in 2000, his work as a pro-life and disability rights advocate began with his fight for the life of his sister, Terri Schindler Schiavo. He has spoken extensively throughout the United States and internationally about Terri, her case, and the hundreds of thousands of individuals living like Terri today. Mr. Schindler has testified before state legislatures and addressed members of Parliament in Australia and Canada on the importance of protecting the medically vulnerable. He co-authored A Life That Matters(2006), chronicling his families struggle to care for Terri. He also sits on the board of Cincinnati Right to Life.
Charles Kerrigan, Treasurer
Charles Kerrigan is Senior VP and Chief Lending Officer for First CornerStone Bank. Prior to that, Mr. Kerrigan was Director of Marketing for Legacy Advisors, a financial advisory firm. Mr. Kerrigan also served as Senior VP and Private Banker at Wells Fargo’s Private Bank and was the CFO for the Archdiocese of Philadelphia.
Mr. Kerrigan is husband to Mary, and father to Corinne, who experienced an anoxic brain injury 18 years ago and is dependent on others for her care. He is also the grandfather to Corrinne’s only son, Paul. He earned a BA, and a MBA degree from Temple University. In addition, Mr. Kerrigan earned certificates from The Wharton Advanced Management Program of the University of Pennsylvania; and from Columbia University’s Graduate School of Business. He holds FINRA Series 7 and 66 securities’ licenses, as well as a life insurance producer license in the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania.
Mr. Kerrigan serves on the following non-profit Boards: Chair, National Advisory Board for the Study of Church Management and Business Ethics, School of Business, Villanova University; Chair, Finance Committee, The Salvation Army Advisory Board of Greater Philadelphia; Irish American Business Chamber and Network in Philadelphia; Finance Committee, Catholic Social Services, Archdiocese of Philadelphia; and the Budget and Audit Committee, the Union League of Philadelphia. He is also the Vice Chair, Chair of the Investment Committee, and Director of Relationships for SmartInvest, a global venture capital company with offices in Philadelphia and Ireland.
Brother Conrad Richardson, f.b.p,
Brother Conrad Richardson, f.b.p, is a Franciscan Brother of Peace from St. Paul, Minnesota. Founded in 1982 by Michael Gaworski, the Brothers of Peace seek to rediscover and live in the fullness of the Christian Faith through the enlightenment of the Magisterium, Sacred Scripture and the Church's tradition through the example of the order’s inspiration, St. Francis of Assisi. Before entering religious life Br. Conrad worked as a nursing assistant, caring for the elderly, the physically and mentally challenged and the terminally ill. He also volunteered with the Missionaries of Charity in Denver who were caring for those dying of AIDS. In 1996, Br. Conrad contacted the Franciscan Brothers of Peace in the Archdiocese of St. Paul & Minneapolis and professed final vows of poverty, chastity and obedience in October of 2001.
Richard Paul Bonfiglio, M.D.
Richard Paul Bonfiglio, M.D. has been practicing the medical specialty of Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation for 34 years. His medical practice has been devoted to evaluating and treating children and adults with a variety of disabling conditions including brain injury, spinal cord injury, cerebral palsy, stroke, and amputation. The focus of his care has been improving the individuals functioning despite ongoing medical issues. Dr. Bonfiglio has also served as the medical director of multiple hospitals and rehabilitation units including HealthSouth Hannarville Rehabilitation Hospital, Bryn Mawr Rehabilitation Hospital, and the Schwab Rehabilitation Hospital. He is an Assistant Clinical Professor in Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation at the Pittsburgh branch campus of Temple Medical School.
Sean Clark is vice president for finance and information technology at the Foundation for Individual Rights in Education (FIRE), which defends and sustains individual rights at America's colleges and universities, particularly freedom of speech, legal equality, due process, religious liberty, and sanctity of conscience, which are some of the essential qualities of individual liberty and dignity. He lives and works in Philadelphia.
Michael J. Tammaro earned a B.S. in Education from Mansfield University and an M.A. in Education from Elmira College. After 33 years, Mike retired as a school teacher from Haverling Central School in Bath, NY. Mike is the co-founder of Corning Christian Academy, a K-12 Christian school in Corning, NY and was a member of their board for 30 years. Mike was a standout basketball player in high school and college, was a high school and college basketball official for 28 years, and in 1994 was inducted into the Corning-Painted Post Sports Hall of Fame. Mike currently resides in Deltona, FL with his wife Claudia Beth of 47 years. They have two daughters, one adopted son and ten grandchildren. Mike is the Brother of Mary Schindler and the Uncle of Terri Schiavo.
Tom Shakely, Executive Director
Tom Shakely enters the role of Executive Director with extensive consulting and nonprofit board experience, and with particular passion for those working to foster a Culture of Life. Previously, Tom ran a digital strategy firm with a focus on brand, content, development, and operations consulting services. He lives in Philadelphia, where he serves on the Board of Directors of the Pro-Life Union of Greater Philadelphia. He has also served on Archbishop Charles J. Chaput's Archdiocesan Pastoral Council.