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‘Angel Dad’: 64-Yr-Old Cancer Patient Took Care Of 80+ Terminally Sick Children In 30 Years

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When Mohammed Bzeek from Los Angeles was diagnosed with colon cancer in 2016, the news did not unsettle him, for he was determined to fight and win the battle against malignancy. Not for himself, but for the eight-year-old blind and deaf girl with a deadly disease, who is his foster child at present.

Bzeek, better known as ‘Angel Dad’ of Los Angeles, has been serving as a foster parent to terminally ill children for the past three decades. He has been a doting parent to around 80 children with inborn fatal disorders. Without Bzeek, these children, orphaned or abandoned, would have had no choice left but to breathe their last in the confines of a hospice or hospital room.

He and his wife ran a foster home for terminally ill children

Mohammed Bzeek is the biological father of Adam, a collegegoer with brittle bone disease and dwarfism. Bzeek lost his beloved wife Dawn in 2013 to a lung disease, with whom he had started fostering these children. In a 2017 interview with Los Angeles Times, Bzeek opened up about what made him the ‘Angel Dad’.

Born in Libya, Bzeek arrived in the USA in 1978 for pursuing higher studies and soon started working as an engineer. When he first met his wife Dawn in the 1980s, she was already a foster parent to many and had even turned her home into an emergency shelter for these helpless children. Bzeek joined her in this noble pursuit, and together the couple started fostering many children since 1989.

Soon, they started taking in only the children with ‘do-not-resuscitate’ orders, who were considered a lost cause and were thus abandoned by their own families. Through community colleges and conventions, the Bzeeks also spread awareness about the dos and don’ts of foster parenting. Together, they would take care of up to three terminally ill children at one time.

During their time as foster parents, Bzeek and his wife had also bid goodbye to ten foster children. Some of them lived less than a year, some survived a little longer, but all of them received utmost love and care during their short tryst with this harsh world. Bzeek recalls nursing his foster children with his own hands, and also having to bury them with teary eyes and a grieving heart.

The doting ‘Angel Dad’

After Dawn’s death, Bzeek has quit his day job to be a full-time foster parent. Now, apart from his own son, he takes care of the blind and deaf little girl with underdeveloped brain function, who recently turned eight. At her birth, the doctors predicted her to live no more than a few weeks or a few months at most. Bzeek’s unfailing love and caregiving have helped her sail through eight years with ease.

He has never regretted his own son’s physical limitations. Instead, the doting dad has engineered a wooden skateboard to help him move around the house, apart from a customised wheelchair. At present, Adam is pursuing a college degree in computer science, making Bzeek a proud father. He is also extremely fond of his present foster sister.

Bzeek gave names to all his children

All of Bzeek’s children have a heartbreaking story. Bzeek shares with Children’s Hospital, Los Angeles, “In the hospital, they give birth, they leave them.” Most of these children are born with rare, untreatable disorders, and hence they are abandoned because even the biological parents cannot fathom the courage to deal with death later. Hospitals across Los Angeles sends these nameless children to Bzeek. He christens them with a new name and makes him or her an integral part of the Bzeek family. Speechless and weary of living, they find a warm welcome in the arms of their new father.

He fondly remembers one of his children who passed away a few years ago. The little boy was born with a short gut syndrome and spent most of his days at the hospital. Though he was unable to consume solid food, Bzeek still made sure to seat him at the dinner table every night, so that he never feels aloof from the family.

They will pass away- today or tomorrow

“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,” says Bzeek, who is a devout Muslim by faith. Even battling with stage-2 colon cancer himself, he thanks God every day for keeping his son and foster daughter alive.

Mohammed Bzeek knows all of his foster children would pass away – today or tomorrow. All he aims is to provide them with a family, full of love, care and belongingness before they take their leave from this mortal world. The ‘Angel Dad’ of Los Angeles has received financial contributions from all over the world to sustain the treatment costs of his children. Only he knows how to make them his own.

Also Read: 70-Yr-Old UK Grandma Cleans Up 52 Beaches In One Year To Keep Her New Year Resolution

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but how much love we put into giving.
- Mother Theresa Quote

Goonj Is Working With 1000’s Of Volunteers & Partner NGOs To Provide Covid-19 Relief In 18 States

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With the extension of the lockdown the crisis of migrant labourers and daily wagers has just grown bigger due to uncertainty and fear of future. In the migrant colonies, slums and for people in the villages hunger and desperation is building up day by day. This is high time we step up our efforts to support our people who are in dire need of food and hygiene essentials to survive the pandemic, Covid-19.

After the India-wide lockdown, a lot of jobless migrant workers are stuck in cities with hardly any resources while many started retreating back to their villages. With the loss of livelihoods, a large number of them are now struggling to support their families.

Goonj activated its pan India teams and a pan India network of partner organizations and volunteers in urban and rural India. This network, built over the last two decades, helps them learn from the ground, reach material quickly and review and adapt strategy periodically. Intensifying this network has helped Goonj reach and start work across 17produced states/UT in the last three weeks.
Support the cause you care for. Browse All CampaignsBrowse all campaigns

Supporting Education Of COVID Hit Students

19,200 Raised
Out of 20,00,000

Share

Supporting Acid Attack Survivors During COVID

26,651 Raised
Out of 20,00,000

Share

Providing Clothes To Tribal Children

1,11,860 Raised
Out of 9,00,000

Share

Back To School : Supporting Rural Education

26,931 Raised
Out of 15,00,000

Share

Rahat COVID: Relief Work by Goonj

1,04,887 Raised
Out of 10,00,000

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5,87,014 Raised
Out of 10,00,000

Share

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3,82,370 Raised
Out of 10,00,000

Share

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Out of 10,00,000

Share

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Out of 1,50,000

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41,094 Raised
Out of 2,50,000

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40,962 Raised
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25,615 Raised
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Out of 1,00,00,000

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Campaign Closed
Brought machinery

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Goonj’s focus: 

Majority of the Covid-19 relief work by non profits right now is in the metros and cities but Goonj is the only non profit that is also simultaneously focusing on the people in the villages and the ones stuck on highways or somewhere.

Goonj is targeting daily wagers, migrants and other vulnerable groups, who even traditionally are left out like the disabled, sex workers, LGBTQ community.

“COVID-19 is a crisis, yes…But, it’s also an opportunity for us to build the society anew. Not ‘for’ the people…but, ‘with’ the people. And in the process, we will build ourselves too.” – Anshu Gupta, Founder-Director, Goonj.

Direct Monetary and Material Transfer

Wherever Goonj got the permission to open their centres for packing and disbursement of relief material kits, they are creating a kit consisting of 20-30 kgs material including dry rations, masks, sanitary pads and other hygiene material and reaching them to people, as per needs and as per regulations with all safety precautions. This kit will help a family survive for 30 days.

Information till 10th April 2020:

  • Distributed 15,100 ration kits reaching thousands of people
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In Goonj’s processing centers its trained team of women are making cloth face masks and cloth sanitary pads (MY-Pads), keeping all the precautions and with the permission and cooperation of the local authorities.

In this lock-down phase if you are facing any difficulty getting sanitary pads or you are running out of stock, here’s a detailed but very simple process of making Cloth Pads at home created by Goonj. “This is how we make Goonj MY Pads.” This is how our mothers and grandmothers turned their spare cloth into pads.

This disaster, unlike any other, is unprecedented in its scale and impact and that’s why we all must do our bit with Goonj to continue its relief work for millions of people in this still unfolding long-tailed disaster.

The need is huge.. We are there.. Need You too !!

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It's not how much we give
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