Sunday April 16, 2017

Meet the man who only fosters terminally ill children

Mohamed Bzeek with one of his foster children

Mohamed Bzeek with one of his foster children (Courtesy of Mohamed Bzeek)

Listen 11:45

Since 1995, Mohamed Bzeek has exclusively taken in foster children with terminal illnesses. Bzeek has cared for more than 40 children because he feels that it's his duty as a Muslim to help those in need.

"It's the big factor, my faith,  because I believe as a Muslim we need to extend our hand to help people who need us. Doesn't matter what nationality, what religion, what country. To me it doesn't matter, I do it as a human being for another human being," he says.

Mohamed Bzeek

Mohamed Bzeek believes it's his duty as a human being and a Muslim to care for terminally ill foster children. (Courtesy of Mohamed Bzeek)

Neil Zanville of the Los Angeles Department of Child and Family Services says that without Bzeek these children would be forced to live in medical facilities rather than the comfort of a loving home. 

"Mr. Bzeek is dealing with children who only have a limited amount of time. I think he's even taken children in that died days later," Zanville says. "So it's the rare individual, or he might be the only individual in LA county, that will provide a home environment and provide love and care when a child in fact has very limited time left."

Neil Zanville, Monica Santander, Mohamed Bzeek

Neil Zanville and Monica Santander of the Los Angeles Department of Child and Family Services with Mohamed Bzeek. (Courtesy of Neil Zanville)

Since his wife died, Bzeek has cared for his foster children on his own, as well as his 19-year-old biological son who has a form of dwarfism and brittle bone disease which requires full-time care. Through the constant demands and difficulties Bzeek has witnessed, he has remained strong because of his faith and acceptance of the fragility of life. 

In December 2016, Bzeek had to undergo treatment for cancer and the experience profoundly affected him. 

"I had to face everything by myself," says Bzeek. "If I am 62-years-old and I'm scared and afraid to be by myself - I felt what the kids felt. The young kids, how they feel when they are alone, have no family, nobody comforts them, nobody tells them 'It's ok, I'm here for you, we go through this together and it will be fine.' This operation in December has humbled me, and makes me work more and help more kids."

Click LISTEN above to hear to Mohamed Bzeek's inspirational story.