Mohamed Bzeek knows that the kids he takes in are going to die. He is a foster father who takes in terminally ill children from Los Angeles County’s foster care system. He has buried 10 foster children so far, and continues opening his home to the children. He rocks them and holds them so that they don’t have to die alone. Some of his foster children died in his arms.
I’m always holding her. Mr. Bzeek is currently taking care of a six-year-old little girl who is blind and deaf. “I know she can’t hear, can’t see, but I always talk to her,” he said. “I’m always holding her, playing with her, touching her. … She has feelings. She has a soul. She’s a human being.” Source: LA Times.
600 of the most severe cases. Reportedly, there are approximately 35,000 children in the Los Angeles County foster care system. 600 of them are “medical cases,” terminally ill children in dire need of care. Not many people open their homes to them.
Dawn. Mohamed was inspired by his late wife, Dawn. Dawn was considered legendary in the foster care system, and loved every child she took in. Dawn and Mohamed began taking in foster children in the 1980s.
1989. In 1989, Mohamed and Dawn took in a foster daughter whose mother was a farm worker, and she constantly breathed in toxic pesticides. As a result, the little girl was born with severe birth defects and a very short life expectancy. She was the first foster daughter that Dawn and Mohamed lost.
The promise. After the death of their foster daughter, Mohamed and Dawn made a promise to each other. They made a firm decision to only take in terminally ill children. The sad fact is that no one else wants them, and Mohamed believes that no child should ever die alone.
The mosque. Mohamed was born in Libya and moved to the US in 1978. He barely leaves his house except for when he goes to the mosque. A day nurse is always at the house in his absence, so that the children are never by themselves.
Dawn. Dawn died two years ago after developing blood clots in her lungs. Dawn and Mohamed have one biological son together, Adam, who was born with brittle bone disease and now, at age 19, weighs a mere 65 pounds. “That’s the way God made him.” said Mohamed.
He crowns them. “Some of these children come to him without names, so this most faithful Muslim does what the old Hebrew texts would praise: He crowns them.’In the hospital, they give birth, they leave them,’ Mohamed Bzeek says in the clipped accent of his native Libya, the words issued in vehement bursts. ‘Their families don’t name them. It comes on the paper: ‘Baby boy,’ ‘Baby girl.’ I name them. I give them names.'” Source: chla.org.
No children have died without a name. “In the more than 20 years that Bzeek has been fostering sick and terminally ill kids, 10 have died, but none without a name.A name isn’t shelter, so he has given them that, too—this orderly four-bedroom house in an unassuming neighborhood in Azusa. He has made sure to give them a home.Bzeek would say he hasn’t given them anything at all, but has merely met the terms proposed by his faith. “It is obligatory,” he says. “If I can help somebody, I have to help.” Source: chla.org.
Living with Adam. Raising Adam has also been challenging for Mohamed. “Adam can’t walk, so Bzeek modified the house to accommodate him, swapping out the carpet for wood floors. He used to move about by rolling on his stomach; now he surfs from room to room resting on a skateboard that his father fashioned out of an ironing board and a pair of roller-skate wheels,” chla reports.
Finances. Mohamed is a retired electrical engineer. He receives about $1700 per month to take care of his foster children. Thus, he lives an extremely modest lifestyle.
Inspiration. After an article was printed about Mohamed in the LA Times, one reader was so inspired that she started a GoFundMe campaign to raise money for Mohamed. She set the initial goal at $100,000.
What the money is specifically being raised for, according to GoFundMe.com: “Mohamed is going to get central air conditioning and heating. Both of Mohamed’s children have problems regulating body temperature. Right now Mohamed just has a swamp cooler in his living room. He mentioned that in the summer when it gets hot, the family has to spend all their time in the living room, near the swamp cooler.”
Support. “Mohamed has not taken a single day off since 2010. In 2010 he took 6 weeks off to visit family in Libya. But apart from that he hasn’t taken a day off since 2000. The donations will enable Mohamed to hire another nurse, if he needs additional support, or needs to take a break.”
Adam’s education and a new van. “Mohamed is very happy to be able to use some of the donations towards his son Adam’s college education.” . . . “Mohamed has a 2003 van. He is very dependent on his van to take his children to doctor and hospital visits. He would like to use part of the donation to get a new, wheelchair accessible vehicle.” Additionally, Mohamed’s roof is leaking and needs to be replaced. All of these expenses add up.
The campaign. People have been so inspired by Mohamed’s story that his campaign has surpassed its $100,000 goal; over $500,000 has been raised, and the donations continue to come in. Hopefully, Mohamed will be able to hire the support that he needs so that he can take in the children that so desperately need him. To donate, go here: https://www.gofundme.com/bzeek.
Source : RebelCircus