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MovieTowne’s Chins rescue Haleema
Five-year-old Haleema Mohammed got a new lease on life yesterday after Stefan Chin, the son of business magnate Derek Chin, owner of MovieTowne, presented a cheque covering the outstanding funds needed for her surgery.
The Children’s Life Fund (CLF) had earlier this week rejected the request to fund Mohammed’s surgery. Haleema suffers from Beta Thalassemia— a rare blood disorder.
Within one day, Haleema’s parents, according to representing attorney Gerald Ramdeen, were able to raise $300,000 via corporate sponsors and were just short of $100,000.
“I got a call from Derek Chin yesterday evening (Thursday), who made a substantial monetary contribution towards Haleema’s medical expenses. Mr Chin was a good luck charm,” Ramdeen said following the presentation ceremony at MovieTowne, Invader’s Bay, Port-of-Spain, yesterday morning.
The cheque was presented to the family by Stefan, who said their hearts went out to the family when they heard of Haleema’s plight via the media.
“We realised that there is someone in need and we have the ability to help them and I think that it is the responsibility of corporate citizens to help because the Government cannot do everything at the same time,” Stefan said.
In a letter sent on August 15 by the CLF to Ramdeen, the body said that Haleema’s illness was not life threatening.
It stated that the CLF’s board had concluded that Beta Thalassemia was not considered to be a life threatening illness, as required by Section 19 (e) of the act it is governed by.
Yesterday, Ramdeen said he was pleased at the response from the Chins and by extension the corporate community in bringing immediate financial aid to Haleema.
“With all the bad news out there, there are still good people in T&T and some of them have contributed to saving Haleema’s life and now she can travel to India to get this surgery done and would not have to worry about doing blood transfusions every week for survival,” Ramdeen said.