The heartwarming story of Mohamed Bzeek, a quiet, devout Libyan-born Muslim who lives in Azusa (California), has dedicated his life to children with terminal illnesses for over twenty years as a foster father.
Bzeek, 62, is a portly man with a long, dark beard and a soft voice. The oldest of 10 children, he came to this country from Libya as a college student in 1978.
Years later, through a mutual friend, he met a woman named Dawn, who would become his wife. She had become a foster parent in the early 1980s, before she met Bzeek. Her grandparents had been foster parents, and she was inspired by them, Bzeek said. Before she met Bzeek, she opened her home as an emergency shelter for foster children who needed immediate placement or who were placed in protective custody.
In 1989 the two began to take care of terminally ill children who were abandoned by their parents, by giving them all the love they needed and trying to alleviate their condition as much as possible.
Here is what Bzeek said in an interview with the Los Angeles Times:
“The key is, you have to love them like your own, I know they are sick. I know they are going to die. I do my best as a human being and leave the rest to God.”
He continues revealing the reason for his mission:
‘They have no one’
The two also have a son, Adam, suffering from dwarfism, now 25 years old and a model computer student.
After the death of his wife, which occurred around 2015, Mohamed decided to continue the mission they had started together. He kept on going to the hospital and giving his time and love to children with special needs affected by terminal diseases.
Among the many children who lived in his house and benefited from his care, is a girl who was only two years old at the time, today she is six and suffering from a serious neurological disease.
The little girl is blind, deaf, paralyzed from legs to arms. Her parents abandoned her, probably because taking care of her was too hard for them. Mohamd decided to take her home with him:
“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. “
So many children are abandoned by their natural parents because of their degenerative diseases. Melissa Testerman, a DCFS intake coordinator who finds placements for sick children, has recognized Mohamed Bzeek as a person unique for his noble mission of love:
“If anyone ever calls us and says, ‘This kid needs to go home on hospice,’ there’s only one name we think of, he’s the only one that would take a child who would possibly not make it.””
In order to finance its mission, Margaret Cotts has decided to start a fundraiser which has exceeded the established ceiling by more than 6 times.
Source: Los Angeles Times