Future looks bright for Zaki after community raises €80k for surgery

By Maurice Garvey

THE fate of a young boy with a debilitating illness looks much brighter this week, after the community rallied to raise €80,000 for life-altering surgery in the USA.

Zaki Djellabi (9), from Clondalkin – an active member of Terenure Tigers special needs rugby team – has cerebral palsy and requires surgery to prevent becoming wheelchair dependent.

Zaki family b 

His parents Carmel Tuite and Zoubir Djellabi, kickstarted a fundraising campaign 18 months ago after Zaki was accepted for Selective Dorsal Rhizotomy [SDR] in St Louis, Missouri.

After successfully running 36 fundraising events, the Do It For Zaki campaign hosted a white-collar boxing event in Ballyfermot Sports and Social Club on Friday night, which helped the family reach their target.

Carmel said: “We are thrilled to say that the Clondalkin community and business owners have helped us reach the €80,000 target. The campaign has been supported by the community in Clondalkin, Tallaght and online donors throughout Ireland, England and USA. It ensures that not only does Zaki have his surgery, but secures enough funding for his intensive aftercare programme.”

Zaki 1

Coláiste Bríde student Zaki leaves for his surgery on May 14, and will be in St Louis for four weeks. He then commences a two-year rehabilitation programme, which is ultimately “long-term”.

Proud mother Carmel and Zaki’s brother Adam (14) both stepped into the ring for the event of Friday night.
“You would do anything for your child,” said a relieved Carmel.

Carmel continued: “We are very grateful to head coach John McCarton, the Defense Forces for their trainers and equipment, Bluebell Boxing Club for the use of their gym, Bawnogue Boxing Club for the use of their boxing ring and Ballyfermot Club for hosting the event.

“The boxers were from Clondalkin, Tallaght and some were students at Scoil Bride and Moyle Park. Fitness club BFIT owner Sabrina Conlon had six local women participate.

“Boxers worked hard to get sponsorship. Ballyfermot Social and Sports Club was a great venue. With a turnout of about 250 people and we raised €4,800. Thank you to all of the boxers for taking part, all the sponsors and friends and family who supported us.”

This campaign event happened last weekend at the same time as a family BBQ run by the Al Khidmah Muslim Community Centre, and a four-team challenge run by Nostra IT, in Lucan.

Follow his story on www.LetsDoItForZaki.com or his Facebook page LetsDoItForZaki.

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