REEM HASSABALLA, HINSDALE The Bayan Hassaballa Foundation
She demonstrates strength, courage, and concern for others. Meet the hero inside our local mom......
December is a special month for Reem because that is when her angel, Bayan, was born 19 years ago. Bayan seemed to be developing as any other toddler, until she was three. “Then she became off-balanced when she walked and she was not able to track with her eyes by kindergarten,” Reem shares. “Her immunity was very weak and she was afflicted with many horrible pulmonary infections.” Bayan was diagnosed with A-T at six and was confined to a wheelchair by age 10. A-T (Ataxia Telangiectasia) is a very rare inherited disorder that affects the nervous system, immune system, and other body systems. By age 12, Bayan also suffered from Lymphoma and passed shortly thereafter.
The death of a child can be an unbelievable challenge, but Reem has chosen to face it with courage and strength for her four other children. Reem’s highest priority is teaching her children the importance of giving back and it is the very reason she established The Bayan Hassaballa Foundation in 2009. “Rising up and continuing to strive to make the world a little better helps me grieve and makes me realize that my angel is living on in my heart,” Reem says. “Creating this Foundation helped me bring out this inherent love that I have for philanthropy.” To participate in events or donate to the foundation, visit www.ourangelbayan.org.
–Kristen Kucharski, Photo by Mike Mantucca
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