SUPPORTING CHILDREN OF WAR AND NATURAL DISASTERS, AND CHILDREN WITH RARE MEDICAL CONDITIONS
Project Life is happy to announce that activities are recommencing after several years of dormancy; renewing the commitment to restore physical and psychological health, opening doors of friendship, and providing opportunities that benefit everyone—the children served, and the families and volunteers who serve and support them. Our program forges enduring bonds that last long after the children have returned to their home countries.
The Story of Ahmed
Ahmed is an 8-year-old boy from the city of Tunis in Tunisia. Since birth, he has had an undiagnosed chronic illness that affects multiple bodily systems. Ahmed’s parents, Mariem and Amjed, diligently sought medical diagnoses and treatment from pediatricians and specialists in Tunisia. Unfortunately, no sustainable solution to improve his quality of life and allow him to grow and thrive effectively was realized.
Ahmed's Medical Condition
• He suffers from paralysis of the left side of his face and a split tongue so he cannot properly masticate his food. This causes severe acid reflux to the point where he does not sleep through the night.
• This has resulted in minimal weight gain and abnormal growth; a condition called “failure to thrive”.
• At 8 years old he weighs 37 pounds and stands 43 inches tall. A bone growth delay causes him to be very small for his age.
• Ahmed was born with a clubfoot and has had two surgeries to correct the deformity. He wears orthotics on both legs.
• He has been diagnosed with a very rare birth defect called Moebius Syndrome in which the 6th and 7th cranial nerves are absent or underdeveloped.
• He is entirely non-verbal.
• He is not independent and requires assistance with personal hygiene.
• He also suffers from respiratory issues and low immunity.
• Ahmed has not been able to access education and socialization due to his health condition, which is declining as he ages.
In spite of all these challenges, Ahmed is a very loving, patient, and gentle boy. Even though he is unable to communicate with his peers, he loves to be around other children and loves social gatherings. He likes baths and swimming, enjoys music, likes climbing, and loves watching football with his father. He also likes the taste of coffee and will try to take a sip when no one is looking.
Through the support of family members in the Medina, New York area, Ahmed and his mother Mariem were granted a medical visa to travel to the United States. They arrived in January 2023 in hopes of finding answers and receiving the help that Ahmed so desperately needs. Mariem’s relatives in Medina are financially and practically limited due to the needs of their own young family and living on a single income.
PROJECT LIFE'S COMMITMENT
Project Life has made a commitment to assist in this situation by providing a monthly stipend towards living expenses, medications, personal care products, and transportation. It will also be offering help with driving, recreation, and education for Ahmed and Mariem. The family would like to purchase assistive technology to help Ahmed communicate his needs to his family and the providers around him. Project Life intends to contribute to this also, in addition to helping with the family's fundamental financial needs. Please help by making your tax-deductible donation using the tabs below.
Ahmed is a patient at Golisano Children’s Hospital in Rochester, New York. He has been referred for consultations with the surgery, neurology, gastrointestinal, and orofacial teams. He has a long series of tests and assessments ahead of him before any real diagnosis and treatment plan is expected.
Financial and other needs
The hospital has advised the family to apply for financial aid within their institution and through emergency Medicaid. As of now, they have no confirmed financial aid for health care costs.
Your generous gift is needed now! Please use the donation tabs below or mail your check to our address below.
What is Project Life?
Project Life was inaugurated in 1997. Since then it has brought 136 orphans from the troubled lands of Bosnia, the North Caucasus (Chechnya and Ingushetia), Afghanistan, and Sri Lanka to peaceful western New York State. Project Life is an intensive, volunteer-based program that works to restore the lost childhood of innocent victims of war and natural disasters. These children have suffered hardship and losses, but they are not seeking long-term foster care or adoption in the United States. After a wonderful few months, the children return to their native countries where they live with close family members.
All the Project Life children receive regular medical and dental care and eye exams and are provided prescriptions free of charge. Over the years, a few of the children arrived with undiagnosed health conditions and have remained in Western New York to receive the care they so desperately need.
Providing care for children with medical conditions
From 2014 to 2020 Project Life’s time and resources were committed to the needs of Mohammad of Afghanistan. Shortly after his arrival in Western New York, he was diagnosed with Beta Thalassemia Major, an extremely severe form of anemia. There were no effective treatment possibilities in Afghanistan. Project Life arranged for him to remain in the United States to have life-saving surgery and all the tests and treatments he requires to be stabilized. Thalassemia is not a curable condition, so Mohammad, now a high school graduate, must receive blood transfusions regularly and be carefully monitored for a complex array of side effects and organ damage that can result from his medical condition.
A few years prior to this, Sabir, also from Afghanistan, arrived suffering from severe hemophilia. His condition was stabilized, and he is now a vibrant young man. In 1998, Admir from Bosnia remained in New York State for a full year so that doctors could create a new thumb for his hand that was injured by a landmine.
Linda Redfield Shakoor
Deputy Director & Finance Manager
Project Life War Orphans
13302 Stillwater Road
Waterport, NY 14571, USA
Ways To Donate:
Send tax-deductible donations by mail to the addess above. Make checks or international money orders payable in U.S. funds to Project Life.
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Thank you for your invaluable support.