KENT, Ohio - Steve Sosebee walked out to his back porch in Kent Tuesday with a couple house guests and his daughter, Deema.
As president and CEO of his non-profit group, The Palestine Children's Relief Fund, Sosebee has had similar house guests since the early-1990s. They have been mostly children in need of urgent medical attention.
"I started PCRF in 1991 to start facilitating medical care for children who couldn't get treatment in their country, mainly in the Middle East, who were suffering injuries at that time and were not getting adequate health care as the result of the occupation and their economic situation," Sosebee said.
"Getting treatment here in the United States was something I felt was possible, they just needed a facilitator. A lot of people and volunteers here were wanting to and willing to assist in caring for them, and housing them, and supporting them, so it kind of just took off once we got started."
Four years ago, Sosebee lost his wife to leukemia leaving him in care of his two daughters. He met his wife in the Middle east and worked as a freelance writer in Jerusalem in 1989, creating a passion to help children in the region.
Sosebee's current two house guests are children whom were in need of surgeries and prosthetic fitment. Fifteen-year-old Ahmed was injured by a sniper shot to his right leg. This is his first visit to the United States.
Daoud, 12, suffered severe skull injuries from a drone strike. He’s been here before. After Cleveland Clinic's surgeons signed on with Sosebee's PCRF, surgeries have left him without any pain.
"We've organized over 10,000 surgeries since we started, averaging 70 to 80 volunteer surgery missions a year. By far, more than any other organization," Sosebee said. "I'd like to think our impact is bigger than our presence and our resources."
To find more information on The Palestine Children's Relief Fund go to www.pcrf.net
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