6 year old Abdallah Abu Kash, from Gaza, has been diagnosed with bronciectasis, a rare lung & chest disease. Hospitals in Gaza do not have the ability to do the medical testing that Abdallah needs, so that he can begin his treatment. With testing and proper treatment, Abdallah should be able to live a relatively normal life. Without it, however, the disease can be fatal.
Abdallah needs to come to a hospital in Israel on Sunday May 17 to get further tests.
The cost of the hospital bills, combined with transportation from Gaza to Tel Aviv, plus food for Abdallah’s mother (who will be accompanying her little boy) could cost as much as–or even more than– $5,000. And–there will be ongoing medical needs, and ongoing medical expenses, as well.
Abdallah is Wadi Gaza in the central Gaza Strip, and comes from a very poor family. His father used to be a farmer, but, after sewage was redirected to Wadi Gaza, flooded the agricultural fields and destroyed the farming, Abdallah’s father now works as a guard at a newly constructed sewage treatment plant. The family has no way to afford even the transportation to the hospital, much less the medical expenses.
I met the family in 2012, and saw them again in 2015, when I was doing research in Wadi Gaza for an article I was writing about the water and sanitation crisis in Gaza. (In fact, I begin the article with Abdallah’s father talking about the impact of the sewage on the community.)
I write this, very aware that today marks the Nakba, and very aware that the history of dispossession, occupation, and siege on Gaza are part of this little boy’s story–it is connected to why hospitals in Gaza cannot treat Abdallah. To why Abdallah’s family needs permission from the Israeli army (which they are lucky to get) in order for him to get tested. To why Abdallah’s family lives in crushing poverty.
We may not be able, in today’s commemorations of the Nakba, end the occupation, or the siege, or bring about freedom with dignity and equality for all. Which is, ultimately, what we need to continue fighting for. But one thing we can do as we continue with the larger struggle: we can make sure this one little boy from Gaza gets the treatment he needs.
Click here to help: https://www.crowdrise.com/6-yearoldboyfromgazaneedsmedicalcare/fundraiser/jenmarlowe
In solidarity, and with gratitude,