In August 2019, I had the privilege to be part of a charity cycle ride with Cycling 4 Gaza, to support Palestinian Children Relief Fund 'PCRF'.
Along with 50 other cyclists coming from 15 different nationalities. We started our 4-day cycle in Frankfurt making our way through the most surreal sceneries across Luxemburg, France, and Belgium. Throughout the 3 days our bond grew deeper as we experienced the daily victories, falls, cries, and most importantly a unified purpose that brought us all together to cycle for freedom - Freedom to access healthcare.
On our final stretch of the third day, leaving Givet France with a fresh gentle breeze and picture-perfect sceneries around us we reached Dinant, a small town south of Belgium. Cycling behind our incredible group leader Erik from Team Expa, we crossed the last bridge for the day, coming to a trail by the river I lost control of grip of the wheels still holding onto my bike, landing left side first on a cement block falling over to the floor I was holding on to my jaw laying there helplessly screaming from pain and shock.
I’m so thankful, Dr. Ali Alaeddin was part of our C4G family who also happens to be a trauma surgeon. He rushed back to me to evaluate and managed the traumatic injury I had experienced by the time the ambulance came.
After learning I had 7 fractures throughout the left side of my jaw and had completely dislocated and broke my right side only meant that I had to immediately travel to Jordan for an operation.
Dana, Reem, Nadia, Tamsin, Yasmine, Nour M, Masa, Nour, Halla, Yasmin appreciate you for being so patient with me, taking turns to feed me with a syringe, bathing me, dressing me and icing my jaw and adjusting my bandage throughout that night.
Having to detour on the final day, making a pit stop in Dubai it took me 24 hours to travel to Jordan, with instant access to the greatest medical system. I was in the hands of who I believe is the best doctor out there, Dr. Mohammed Maaytah.
4 days later, I underwent an operation that changed my life. I had to adjust to a forced shut jaw, limiting my speech - iPhone notes became my very personal form of expression, and drinking and eating liquids through a syringe for over a month.
I am so grateful I had the strongest support system, my family, and friends that did not leave my side. I had access to the greatest medical systems in the Middle East. And I was able to recover in the comfort of my loving aunts home.
My accident gave a new meaning to the initial cause of the charity cycle, I resonated with those kids in Palestine.
Sadly, children of Gaza and other occupied territories in the Middle East do not half of these luxuries. The lack of freedom of movement experienced by people and children of Gaza takes many forms, and curtails people’s freedom to access healthcare in a number of ways:
This means that kids like 2-year-old Duha, started her battling leukemia without her mother by her side because she was unable to cross internal borders. 6-year-old Wasim would have to leave his parents to get the chemotherapy treatment required. Kids that are not able to understand their emotions let alone express their pain and frustrations have to go through it without their immediate family being right next to them.
PCRF has built two pediatric cancer departments in Palestine and has several more major programs and projects taking place to help support the development of a sustainable health-care system there. Together we can continue making a difference in these children's lives. Due to the current world situation 'C4G 2020' has been cancelled, but we will continue to help raise awareness on their behalf.
A heartfelt thank you to C4G - Dina Dajani, Zara Hannoun, Salwa Abu Wardeh, and every single person that was with me on the cycle. You are all so inspirational. A very special thank you to Steve, your vision and determination to grant kids all the medical support they deserve is what keeps us going. You are a true hero! And lastly, my family I could not have been where I am today if it was not for you.
The PCRF is a legally-registered non-political, non-profit, 501(c)3 tax-exempt organization established in 1991 by concerned people to address the medical and humanitarian needs of Palestinian and Arab youths in the Middle East. We have provided thousands of children life-saving care based on their need, not on religion, gender, nationality or sect.
The main objective of the PCRF is to identify and treat every child in the Middle East in need of specialized surgery not available to them locally. We locate, sponsor and run international, volunteer medical missions to the Middle East, in additional to locating free medical care abroad for children who cannot be adequately treated in the Middle East. The PCRF is the main organization regularly sending injured and sick Arab children to North and South America, the Middle East and Europe for free care that is not available to them there. Since 1991 over 1,000 children have been abroad for millions of dollars of donated care, and over 10,000 have had complex surgery by our visiting medical missions to the region. The PCRF has been awarded the top 4-star rating by Charity Navigator for fiscal management, while being able to treat more kids than any other charity in the Middle East.
|M Khallouf||09/27/2020||$500.00||Kinzy Al Saheal||06/02/2020||$250.00||<3||Anonymous Friend||05/23/2020||$4,000.00||Anonymous Friend||05/11/2020||$550.00||Abdullah Salah||05/04/2020||$500.00||Talar Bilemjian||05/03/2020||$200.00||We love you!||Anonymous Friend||05/03/2020||$1,000.00||beyond proud of you ray...keep shining and inspiring!! incredible cause by PCRF||Anonymous Friend||05/03/2020||$100.00||Super inspiring. Shine on!||Fadi Salah||05/03/2020||$1,000.00||Hope to ride with you again soon||Anonymous Friend||05/03/2020||$200.00||Anonymous Friend||05/02/2020||$200.00||Anonymous Friend||05/02/2020||$500.00||Anonymous Friend||05/02/2020||$20.00||Razan Aboura||04/29/2020||$1,000.00|