#WATWB: Father to Terminally Ill Children

Posted: 2018/12/01 in Blogging
Tags: , , , , , , , ,

An American man named Mohamed Bzeek from Los Angeles has been taking care of terminally ill children for the past 20 years. He has cared for 40 children so far.

Bzeek is the only foster parent in the county known to take in terminally ill children.

Bzeek, originally from Libya, was introduced to foster care by the woman he fell in love with, Dawn, who would die in 2013 to his devastation.

She [Dawn] had become a foster parent in the early 1980s, before she met Bzeek. Her grandparents had been foster parents, and she was inspired by them, Bzeek said. Before she met Bzeek, she opened her home as an emergency shelter for foster children who needed immediate placement or who were placed in protective custody.

Dawn Bzeek fell in love with every child she took in. She took them to professional holiday photo sessions, and she organized Christmas gift donation drives for foster children.

Mohamed Bzeek started caring for foster children with his wife Dawn in 1989. Often, the children were ill and sometimes they died, leaving the Bzeeks in intolerable pain. By the mid-1990s, the Bzeeks decided to specifically care for terminally ill children.

The children were going to die. Mohamed Bzeek knew that. But in his more than two decades as a foster father, he took them in anyway — the sickest of the sick in Los Angeles County’s sprawling foster care system.

He has buried about 10 children. Some died in his arms. Now, Bzeek spends long days and sleepless nights caring for a bedridden 6-year-old foster girl with a rare brain defect. She’s blind and deaf. She has daily seizures. Her arms and legs are paralyzed.

“I know she can’t hear, can’t see, but I always talk to her,” he said. “I’m always holding her, playing with her, touching her. … She has feelings. She has a soul. She’s a human being.

“The key is, you have to love them like your own,” Bzeek said recently. “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.”

The rest of Bzeek’s story can be found here in Los Angeles Times.


Mohamed Bzeek with a foster child

In a time when the 24-hour news cycle bombards us with stories of tragedy, heartbreak and deceit, it can be difficult to keep our heads up and remain optimistic about the world we live in. But amid the tragedy and sadness, we receive daily glimpses of hope and happiness—moments when our spirits are lifted and we’re reminded of the generosity and kindness of others. 

This is the 19th celebration of the WE ARE THE WORLD BLOGFEST #WATWB which is carried out every last Friday of the month, and which aims to spread love and positiveness in this vulnerable world. A celebration of heroes who can still restore our faith in humanity, especially in this period when our world seems to be full of endless series of horrible happenings.

Our generous co-hosts for this month are:  Eric Lahti Inderpreet UppalShilpa GargDamyanti Biswas, and myself.


To sign up for We Are The World Blogfest, please see the guidelines below.


  1. Keep your post to below 500 words, as much as possible.
  2. All we ask is you link to a human news story on your blog on the last Friday of each month, one that shows love, humanity, and brotherhood. Something like this news  about a man who only fosters terminally ill children.
  3. Join us on the last Friday of each month in sharing news that warms the cockles of our heart. No story is too big or small, as long as it goes beyond religion and politics, into the core of humanity.
  4. Place the WE ARE THE WORLD Badge on your sidebar, and help us spread the word on social media. Tweets, Facebook shares, G+ shares using the #WATWB hashtag through the month most welcome. More Blogfest signups mean more friends, love and light for all of us.
  5. We’ll read and comment on each others’ posts, get to know each other better, and hopefully, make or renew some friendships with everyone who signs on as participants in the coming months.
  6. To signup, add your link in WE ARE THE WORLD Linky List


  1. Susan Scott says:

    Thanks Peter – this swelled my heart to bursting. I’m sorry that Dawn died. It’s wonderful that her grandparents were also foster parents. I’m happy that Mohamed continues his work even though this is also heart breaking. It’s so uplifting to be ‘reminded of the goodness and kindness of others’ ..

  2. pjlazos says:

    Oh wow, that story made me teary-eyed. I don’t know that I’d have the tenacity of spirit to watch kids die. He’s a Titan walking around in a human body. Kudos to him and thank you for posting.

  3. dweezer19 says:

    There are angels walking this Earth…

  4. Anouradha Bakshi says:

    This is such a touching and heartwarming story

  5. Just the first two lines were enough to make me realize what an amazing man Bzeek is, but the more I read on this post, the more I believed that he must have a heart of pure gold and a will as strong as iron to suffer through so many traumas and still take these blessed children in. 10 deaths, when you love those kids like your own! I can’t imagine what that must feel like. God grant him the strength to do more good. God grant us more people like him. Thank you for this wonderful share.

  6. Dan Antion says:

    Thanks for sharing this story Peter. I had a dear friend and coworker whose wife cared for foster children with special needs. She was one of only a few foster parents certified to provide care to children on various medication. Over many years, they had over 150 children, mostly infants and toddlers come through their house.

    • Peter Nena says:

      Incredible people. Martyrs of virtue. The pillars of humanity. It feels good to be reminded that the world is much better than it seems. I’m happy to know about your friend. She is one more soul reminding us of we were intended to be. Thank you, Dan.

  7. JoAnna says:

    This sure puts things in perspective. Thank you for doing such a good job sharing this story of deep courage and compassion.

  8. I was in tears when I read this one so I did share it on facebook and again thank you for these heartfelt and touching true stories in this chaotic world we live in today.

    • Peter Nena says:

      Thank you, Cybele. It is a story of pain and triumph and, above all, love. A deep, painful love. To love despite anything, everything. To love the sick, the dying, the wounded. To love them simply because they are human beings. How are you yourself? I find myself wondering about you these days. I hope you are well.

      • thank you for thinking of me!! You are one of the people that I feel such a connection for on the blogosphere though we have never met and may never. I am fine though I have slowed down online. Christmas is coming and a busy time too. We try to tie up the loose ends of the old year and prepare for the new- time folding and unfolding. I’m so glad you are a part of this world!!!

    • Peter Nena says:

      Thank you for the love and consideration you have shown me. We may never meet physically but we have met in spirit. Merry Christmas to you, and be blessed in whatever you do.

  9. Wow Peter, went straight to my heart. My brother is gay, and while he did not contract HIV his mate did (and eventually died). One thing that my brother told me is that so many children, usually of drug-using moms, have HIV and no one wants them — but the adoption agencies will not let gay couples take them, even though they know ow to work with HIV. These children usually will not live long either, though now they have a better chance. They need people who understand the disease, to care for them and hold them — which institutions do not have time to do. This man is a saint.

    • Peter Nena says:

      The adoption agencies don’t want gay couples to adopt the children, although nobody else wants the children! That is so cruel. Do they like watching the children die? Sad.. Mohamed Bzeek is indeed a Saint. Thank you, Kate. Have a wonderful holiday season!

  10. “he took them in anyway.”

    We had nothing, in our own resources, to offer God. But He adopted us anyway.

    Beautiful, Peter. Thank you.

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