Victor’s Hope Foundation (VHF) was organized exclusively as a neutral and impartial humanitarian organization that aims to provide high-quality medical care to the people who need it the most. It does not promote the agenda of any country or political party.
Victor’s Hope Foundation offers volunteer medical support, services and humanitarian emergency aid to those caught in crises or catastrophic events – such as epidemics, malnutrition, natural disasters, or lacking fundamental medical care treatment in the U.S. and internationally. In addition, VHF is dedicated to providing educational counseling to people affected by neurofibromatosis types 1 and 2, schwannomatosis, and related disorders (know as “NF”), both domestically and internationally.
As president of Victor’s Hope Foundation, Victor Chukwueke is currently completing medical school at the University of Toledo College of Medicine.
Victor was born into impoverished conditions in Nigeria he also suffered from neurofibromatosis, a genetic disorder that caused massive life-threatening tumors and deformed his face. While living in Nigeria at a young age, Victor was treated as an outcast because of his deformed face. Due to a total lack of medical treatment options for his growing tumors and with little hope for his future, his parents took him to Catholic missionary nuns who operated a disability center and several orphanages to care for him. In 2001, at 15 years old, the nuns from the Daughters of Mary Mother of Mercy arranged for a Michigan doctor to perform numerous lifesaving surgeries gratis for him.
Relocated to Oak Park, Michigan, Victor endured nine surgeries over the next 12 years to remove the tumors and reconstruct his face. One surgery left him blind in his right eye. While undergoing medical treatments, he dedicated himself to learning English and pursuing his education. As he recovered, while still living with the missionary nuns in Oak Park, he completed his GED, enrolled at Oakland Community College outside of Detroit, later transferred to Wayne State University (Detroit), and graduated with a bachelor’s degree in biochemistry and chemical biology. A dean’s list student, Victor volunteered in chemistry and pathology laboratories and was chosen by Wayne State University to speak at his commencement ceremony in April 2011.
Having been accepted to medical school, Victor lacked the required permanent residency status or U.S. citizenship needed to pursue his medical studies. Senator Carl Levin (Michigan) introduced legislation, known as a private bill, granting Victor permanent legal resident status due to his extraordinary circumstances and accomplishments. In a rare act, the entire United States Senate and all members of Congress passed a private bill in 2012, becoming an “Act of Congress” which granted Victor permanent residency. President Obama signed the S.285 bill into law on Friday/December 27, 2012.
“Victor’s amazing courage and determination exemplify much of what is so great about our country,” Senator Carl Levin said. “Already, his example has enriched Michigan and our nation, but I know that his contributions to our country are only beginning.”
Despite all obstacles, Victor Chukwueke remained committed to his education and subsequently had been accepted to medical school. The private bill/Act of Congress had allowed Victor to move forward with his dream, passion and mission – to attend medical school. And as Chukwueke had been quoted numerous times in the media as saying “God saved my life and provided me the enthusiasm for science so I could make a difference in the health and lives of thousands of others”. “That the tumors were a blessing from God. They were the catalyst that propelled me on this journey and have now inspired Victor’s Hope Foundation.”