The family of a young Heideveld man who has Down’s syndrome have launched a public appeal to help him go on a holy pilgrimage.
Moegamat Waleed Osman has Trisomy 21, a form of the syndrome that causes developmental and intellectual delays.
When he was a few months old, he stopped breathing. Doctors revived him but had to perform a tracheotomy to provide air to his lungs.
Waleed could not eat and digest his food so he underwent a gastrostomy to insert a feeding tube into his stomach, but the food kept leaking out and he kept vomiting.
By the time he was six he had had to have four more operations to his belly before the procedure eventually worked.
He attended the Mary Harding in Athlone and now works as a shop assistant once a week after matriculating three years ago.
Waleed is a member of the Shumeez Scott Foundation, and he also enjoys playing soccer and loves going to mosque, although he hasn’t been able to do that now because of Covid-19.
His aunt, Natalie Forbes, said Waleed is a very jolly person who loves people and is quite friendly.
On Wednesday March 8, Waleed’s family and friends held a big bash to celebrate his 21st birthday.
It was a big milestone for the family as they don’t know how long Waleed will be around for.
Waleed was sponsored with an Umrah ticket for December this year. Umrah is an Islamic pilgrimage to Mecca that can be undertaken at any time of the year, in contrast to ajj, which has specific dates according to the Islamic lunar calendar.
However, because Waleed cannot travel alone, his family are trying to raise money for another ticket for his mother to accompany him.
On Sunday March 18, they held an afternoon tea fund-raiser at the Penlyn Estate Hall.
Waleed’s mom, Nuraan Osman, says the pilgrimage would be a dream come true for her son as he is a very religious person.
“He would really love the opportunity to go as he loves going to mosque and making salaah. He cannot however travel alone so would need to go with him. This has been a lifelong dream of his.”
To donate to the Umrah trip call Natalie Forbes at 067 375 4004.