This Angel Dad Has Taken Care of Dozens of Terminally Ill Foster Kids

In the past 30 years, Mohammed Bzeek has taken care of over 80 children

May 7, 2019

Sometimes the greatest gift we can give someone is the feeling that they are not alone. Mohamed Bzeek, a foster parent in Los Angeles, has dedicated the past 30 years of his life to making sure that his foster children feel that they have someone with them- taking care of them, and loving them. The children that Bzeek cares for, however, are not ordinary kids - Bzeek opens his home and his heart to terminally ill children.

Originally from Libya, Bzeek moved to the US in 1978 as a college student and worked as an electronic engineer for many years. In 1989 he married Dawn - whose grandparents worked in foster care - and who inspired her to open an emergency shelter for foster children who needed immediate assistance.

Together, Mohamed and Dawn operated the only foster home in the county that would take in terminally ill children.

Several years ago, in a heartbreaking twist, Dawn fell sick and passed away, leaving Bzeek to care of for the children alone. Bzeek had no doubt in his mind that he would continue to be a foster parent. “It only seemed natural to continue,” he said.

“Each kid has rights to have a family, a place called home, [to] feel that he loves them and take care of them and be with them in their hard time and the last minute of their life.”

Bzeek has taken care of 80 children, 10 of whom passed away while in his care.

Bzeek himself was diagnosed with colon cancer in 2016. Therefore, he understands what it's like to be in and out of hospitals alone, and works day in and out to make sure other children don’t feel abandoned.  

“They feel that they have a family and feel that somebody cares about them and loves them,” he explains.  

Currently, Bzeek takes care of his biological son, who was born with dwarfism and brittle bone disease, as well as an eight-year-old girl who was born both blind and deaf.

"It is a very hard job…They have a lot of medication, they have a lot of machines" says Bzeek.

“Some nights you cannot sleep because you have to take care of them during the night.”

A “GoFundMe” campaign has been opened to help support Bzeek, who hasn’t taken a day off in 30 years.

Mohamed credits his Islamic faith as a source of strength and motivation for his work.

“I feel happy when I see them. They are content and they are happy and they feel that they have somebody with them the rest of their life.”

Bzeek was awarded Turkey’s International Benevolence Award and will be the subject of an upcoming documentary by Ensar Altay.

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HILLA BENZAKEN, CONTRIBUTOR
Hilla Benzaken is a dedicated optimist. Her happy place involves cooking, acting, gardening, and fighting for social justice. She writes about all things sustainability, innovation, and DIY.