Donations pour in for Muslim foster father who cares for dying kids

Before you go, we thought you'd like these...
Before you go close icon

A recent L.A. Times profile on Mohamed Bzeek, a 62-year-old Libyan-born American who has been caring for terminally-ill foster children for the past two decades, has been met with an outpouring of donations from across the country.

The emotional story, written by Pulitzer Prize-winning journalist Hailey Branson-Potts, tells of how Bzeek is the only person in Los Angeles County who takes in such high-need children, even while also caring for his own developmentally disabled son. Bzeek is currently fostering a 6-year-old girl with a rare brain defect that causes daily seizures and has left her blind, deaf, and mostly paralyzed. With the exception of the time he spends at the mosque, when a hired nurse cares for her, he spends the rest of his time by her side at their home or the hospital.

RELATED: Protests erupt throughout US cities over Trump travel ban

34 PHOTOS
Protests erupt throughout US cities over Trump immigration ban
See Gallery
Protests erupt throughout US cities over Trump immigration ban
Demonstrators gather in Copley Square for the "Boston Protest Against Muslim Ban and Anti-Immigration Orders" to protest U.S. President Donald Trump's executive order travel ban in Boston, Massachusetts, U.S. January 29, 2017. REUTERS/Brian Snyder
An international traveler smiles as she walks past the protest against the travel ban imposed by U.S. President Donald Trump's executive order, at Dallas/Fort Worth International Airport in Dallas, Texas, U.S. January 29, 2017. REUTERS/Laura Buckman
Demonstrators yell slogans during protest against the travel ban imposed by U.S. President Donald Trump's executive order, at Los Angeles International Airport in Los Angeles, California, U.S., January 29, 2017. REUTERS/Ted Soqui
Sarah Ijaz joins the "Boston Protest Against Muslim Ban and Anti-Immigration Orders" to protest U.S. President Donald Trump's executive order travel ban in Boston, Massachusetts, U.S. January 29, 2017. REUTERS/Brian Snyder
BOSTON - JANUARY 29: People hold signs as they march from Copley Square to the Mass. State House in Boston on Jan. 29, 2017, to protest President Donald Trump's executive order banning people from several predominantly Muslim countries from entering the country. (Photo by Jessica Rinaldi/The Boston Globe via Getty Images)
Muslim women pray during the "Boston Protest Against Muslim Ban and Anti-Immigration Orders" protesting U.S. President Donald Trump's executive order travel ban in Boston, Massachusetts, U.S. January 29, 2017. REUTERS/Brian Snyder
People gather to pray in baggage claim during a protest against the travel ban imposed by U.S. President Donald Trump's executive order, at Dallas/Fort Worth International Airport in Dallas, Texas, U.S. January 29, 2017. REUTERS/Laura Buckman
Eight year-old Esma, an Irish-Moroccan-American, prays with other Muslim women during the "Boston Protest Against Muslim Ban and Anti-Immigration Orders" protesting U.S. President Donald Trump's executive order travel ban in Boston, Massachusetts, U.S. January 29, 2017. REUTERS/Brian Snyder
Demonstrators spell out "# No Muslim Ban" during the "Boston Protest Against Muslim Ban and Anti-Immigration Orders" to protest U.S. President Donald Trump's executive order travel ban in Boston, Massachusetts, U.S. January 29, 2017. REUTERS/Brian Snyder
Izzy Berdan (R) joins the "Boston Protest Against Muslim Ban and Anti-Immigration Orders" to protest U.S. President Donald Trump's executive order travel ban in Boston, Massachusetts, U.S. January 29, 2017. REUTERS/Brian Snyder
Muslim women pray during the "Boston Protest Against Muslim Ban and Anti-Immigration Orders" protesting U.S. President Donald Trump's executive order travel ban in Boston, Massachusetts, U.S. January 29, 2017. REUTERS/Brian Snyder
Muslim women pray during the "Boston Protest Against Muslim Ban and Anti-Immigration Orders" protesting U.S. President Donald Trump's executive order travel ban in Boston, Massachusetts, U.S. January 29, 2017. REUTERS/Brian Snyder
Demonstrators gather in Copley Square for the "Boston Protest Against Muslim Ban and Anti-Immigration Orders" to protest U.S. President Donald Trump's executive order travel ban in Boston, Massachusetts, U.S. January 29, 2017. REUTERS/Brian Snyder
An activist holds a sign outside the White House to protest President Donald Trump's executive actions on immigration in Washington January 29, 2017. REUTERS/Aaron P. Bernstein
Activists gather outside the White House to protest President Donald Trump's executive actions on immigration in Washington January 29, 2017. REUTERS/Aaron P. Bernstein
Activists gather outside the White House to protest President Donald Trump's executive actions on immigration in Washington January 29, 2017. REUTERS/Aaron P. Bernstein
Activists gather outside the White House to protest President Donald Trump's executive actions on immigration in Washington January 29, 2017. REUTERS/Aaron P. Bernstein
Samah Mansur, from Egypt, takes part in the "Boston Protest Against Muslim Ban and Anti-Immigration Orders" to protest U.S. President Donald Trump's executive order travel ban in Boston, Massachusetts, U.S. January 29, 2017. REUTERS/Brian Snyder
Activists gather outside the White House to protest President Donald Trump's executive actions on immigration in Washington January 29, 2017. REUTERS/Aaron P. Bernstein
People gather to protest against the travel ban imposed by U.S. President Donald Trump's executive order, at First Baptist Church in Dallas, Texas, U.S., January 29, 2017. REUTERS/Laura Buckman
BOSTON - JANUARY 29: People hold signs as they gather in Copley Square in Boston on Jan. 29, 2017, to protest President Donald Trump's executive order banning people from several predominantly Muslim countries from entering the country. (Photo by Jessica Rinaldi/The Boston Globe via Getty Images)
BOSTON - JANUARY 29: People gather in Copley Square in Boston on Jan. 29, 2017, to protest President Donald Trump's executive order banning people from several predominantly Muslim countries from entering the country. (Photo by Jessica Rinaldi/The Boston Globe via Getty Images)
UNITED STATES - JANUARY 29: Rep. Don Beyer, D-Va., speaks with an ACLU legal observer during the protest at Dulles International Airport in Virginia on Sunday, Jan. 29, 2017. Protests erupted at airports around the country following President Trump's executive order restricting travel from several Islamic countries. (Photo By Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call)
MIAMI, FL - JANUARY 29: A protester holds up a sign that reads, 'Banning Immigrants is UnAmerican!,' as she stands with others at the Miami International Airport against the executive order that President Donald Trump signed clamping down on refugee admissions and temporarily restricting travelers from seven predominantly Muslim countries on January 29, 2017 in Miami, Florida. Demonstrators gathered at airports across the country in protest of the order. (Photo by Joe Raedle/Getty Images)
MIAMI, FL - JANUARY 29: Protesters stand together at the Miami International Airport against the executive order that President Donald Trump signed clamping down on refugee admissions and temporarily restricting travelers from seven predominantly Muslim countries on January 29, 2017 in Miami, Florida. Demonstrators gathered at airports across the country in protest of the order. (Photo by Joe Raedle/Getty Images)
MIAMI, FL - JANUARY 29: Susan Barimo joins with other protesters as they stand together at the Miami International Airport against the executive order that President Donald Trump signed clamping down on refugee admissions and temporarily restricting travelers from seven predominantly Muslim countries on January 29, 2017 in Miami, Florida. Demonstrators gathered at airports across the country in protest of the order. (Photo by Joe Raedle/Getty Images)
People gather outside Terminal 4 during a protest against Donald Trump's travel ban at John F. Kennedy International Airport in Queens, New York, U.S., January 29, 2017. REUTERS/Andrew Kelly
International travelers walk past protestors holding signs as they protest against the travel ban imposed by U.S. President Donald Trump's executive order, at Dallas/Fort Worth International Airport in Dallas, Texas, U.S. January 29, 2017. REUTERS/Laura Buckman
Protesters at Discovery Green Park during Super Bowl events in Houston, Texas, U.S., January 29, 2017. REUTERS/Trish Badger
Dozens of pro-immigration demonstrators cheer and hold sign as international passengers arrive at Dulles International Airport, to protest President Donald Trump's executive order baring visitors, refugees and immigrants from certain countries to the United States, in Chantilly, Virginia, in suburban Washington, U.S., January 29, 2017. REUTERS/Mike Theiler
Activists march to the US Capitol to protest President Donald Trump's executive actions on immigration in Washington January 29, 2017. REUTERS/Aaron P. Bernstein TPX IMAGES OF THE DAY
Activists march to the US Capitol to protest President Donald Trump's executive actions on immigration in Washington January 29, 2017. REUTERS/Aaron P. Bernstein
Activists gather at the US Capitol to protest President Donald Trump's executive actions on immigration in Washington January 29, 2017. REUTERS/Aaron P. Bernstein
HIDE CAPTION
SHOW CAPTION
of
SEE ALL
BACK TO SLIDE

The story was published on February 8, just one day before an appeals court ruled against reinstating President Donald Trump's executive order to prevent immigrants and refugees from seven predominantly Muslim countries (including the one from which Bzeek emigrated from in 1978). That same day, a reader touched by the story of Bzeek's "faith, gentleness, dedication, and love for his children" at a time in which she was feeling "overwhelmed and disturbed by the hate speech [she] was seeing on the internet" created a GoFundMe to benefit him and his family.

SEE ALSO: In setback for Trump, U.S. judges reject travel ban

"So much of the fear in this country is based on pure ignorance. I'm 52, and until a year ago, I had never known anyone who was Muslim. (As an aside, I'm Jewish)," she wrote. "The primary aim was to honor Mohamed, and to bring in financial support for his family. (Having a disability is really expensive!)"

Bzeek, who is licensed to medically care for children with these kinds of health concerns, receives $1,700 per month to do so.

More from Vocativ: A Cheap Muscular Dystrophy Drug Will Cost U.S. Patients $89,000

In under 24 hours, the fundraising campaign both hit and surpassed its set $100,000 goal. According to a press release from GoFundMe, donations were made by Americans in every state. The biggest single donation was for $2,500. As of 1:00p.m. EST, the total donations surpassed $113,000.

"The campaign for Mohamed Bzeek is one of the all-time fastest growing campaigns on our platform," a GoFundMe spokesperson told Vocativ in an e-mail.

More from Vocativ:Trump Ban Triggers Wave Of Support For America's Mosques

In addition to financial support, some people went online to offer in-kind donations as well. Among them was Manny Godoy, a local funeral director offering to help perform services free of cost. According to the article, Bzeek has buried approximately 10 children in his time as a foster father.

"Since so many of his resources go into the care of these kids, not just financial but things you can't put a monetary value on, and as a father myself it resonated strongly," Godoy told Vocativ. "We don't want this man to ever worry, when something happens, about the resources or funding and make sure that his kids are laid to rest with the same amount of love and dignity that he's shown to them."

More from Vocativ: Bee Species' Endangered Protection In Jeopardy Thanks To Trump

"The loss that a parent experiences...that child is your everything," he added. "The loss that they go through is on such a completely different level, even when it's expected."

According to an update from Bzeek's son Adam, who has brittle bone disease and dwarfism, the family can "not thank everyone enough for their precious donations and may God bless their beautiful hearts."

The post Donations Pour In For Muslim Foster Father Who Cares For Dying Kids appeared first on Vocativ.

Read Full Story

Sign up for Breaking News by AOL to get the latest breaking news alerts and updates delivered straight to your inbox.

Subscribe to our other newsletters

Emails may offer personalized content or ads. Learn more. You may unsubscribe any time.

From Our Partners