Being seriously ill is one of the scariest things life can throw at you. Between endless visits to a slew of doctors, hospital stays, and the unsettling nature of the unknown, being unwell means relying heavily on your loved ones for support. But what if you’re a terminally ill child in the foster care system, battling a debilitating illness with nobody to rely on for support? For over 20 years, 65-year-old Mohamed Bzeek has made it his mission to give a loving home to terminally ill kids with nowhere else to go – to say that Mohamed Bzeek is a hero feels inadequate.
“The only house that accepts orphans and children who are about to die in Los Angeles is my house. I have dealt with 80 children since 1989. Ten children lost their lives in my arms,” Bzeek told Image.
Losing one child feels like the end of the world, but to lose ten? For many, the idea is unfathomable. But for Mohamed Bzeek, being there to love and support terminally ill children in the foster care system is his purpose. 40 Years ago, Bzeek immigrated to the US from Libya. 25 years ago, he and his late wife realized just how big a difference they could make in the lives of kids who had no one to turn to.
“In 1995, we decided to adopt orphans left at hospitals or taken from their families by the state because of violence and pressure,” Bzeek explained.
After his wife’s passing, Bzeek doubled down on his life-changing work. He provides abandoned terminally-ill children with round-the-clock care, a safe home, and most importantly, unwavering love. At the same time, Bzeek cares for his biological son who was born with dwarfism and a genetic disorder that affects his bones.
In LA, Bzeek works directly with the Department of Child Services, who have come to rely upon him in the most heartbreaking situations. “They tell me when children are about to die and ask if I can adopt them. They know that I do not hesitate to accept. If I don’t, they are sent to hospitals and don’t have a family or house. However, when I take them, they feel a family atmosphere. They feel safe and are loved until the end of their lives.”
When children come into his care without names, he names them. He opens his heart and home, often becoming the first person to show his foster kids what it means to be loved. If Bzeek didn’t take in these terminally-ill children, they would die alone in the hospital. They would’ve lived a far-too-short life, never having experienced a bond with another person.
“I believe each kid has rights to have a family,” Bzeek said in a video for his GoFundMe. “Mom and dad, brother and sisters – and those kids in the system, they have nobody. Seems to be the world has forgotten about them.”
After being diagnosed with stage 2 colon cancer, Bzeek saw what it was like to endure hospital visits and treatment with nobody by his side. The fear he felt in those moments only reinforced the importance of his mission. If he was that terrified as a grown man, the fear these children feel must be unimaginable.
As long as Bzeek is healthy enough to care for these children, he will continue to do so. “We’re human being,” Bzeek explains, “and we supposed to help each other.”