Just days after five-year-old Haleema Mohammed was denied funding by the Children’s Life Fund Authority (CLFA) to undergo a bone marrow transplant in India, she can now leave the country thanks to corporate Trinidad and Tobago. Haleema, who was diagnosed wiht a blood disorder, was preparing for the medical procedure on September 4, but desparately needed the funding.
Businessman Stefan Chin called on corporate citizens to help those in need, after he handed over a cheque to Haleema’s parents with a value of $20,000. The cheque presentation took place today at Movie Towne, Invaders Bay, Port-of-Spain.
Chin said after learning about the family’s plight to raise $400,000, and he saw it fitting to get on board to help.
“When I saw this on the television I took an interest in it because I realised it was somebody in need and if you have the ability to help, why not help?” Chin said.
“I think it is a responsibility of corporate citizens to help and once corporate citizens could help they should. It will help the country all around,” he continued.
He said it is his hope that the contribution will help the family towards getting the surgery done.
Fighting to hold back the tears, Haleema’s mother Kristal told Newsday, “I would like to thank the corporate sectors who have rallied around Haleema. I would like to thank each and every one who has contributed to my daughter in getting the money for her surgery.”
She continued, saying that after a few tumultuous days, today was one of the happiest days of her life, knowing that her daughter is one step closer to getting her surgery.
“I know for sure now she will get the surgery and I have been praying for this,” Kristal added.
They are leaving Trinidad on August 31 and expect to be in India on September 4 for the procedure, and plan to be there for three months.
“The first month the doctors will do the treatment and surgery, and they will take the two months to monitor her after the surgery.”
Meanwhile, attorney Gerald Ramdeen said it has been a very long and hard journey for the family to raise the funds for Helena, and the family will not pursue legal action because they raised the money.
“I don’t think they want to go through the emotional trauma of going to court. They made a decision yesterday afternoon. They have done very well, [raising] as much as $300,000 and by yesterday afternoon, they were about a $100,000 short. Between yesterday and this morning, they have been able to raise the $100,000.”
He adds, “We are confident now that she will be able to undergo the operation to save her life.”
With all of the bad news everyday surrounding the country, Ramdeen says this shows that there are still very good people in Trinidad.
“That goes to show, this is a family who did all they can to save the life of their daughter and I am very pleased today to say that Trinidad and Tobago has contributed to be able to save Haleema’s life.”