When siblings Jeff and Denise Malkoon received a painting all the way from 11-year-old cancer patient Ali, who is being treated at the Children’s Cancer Center of Lebanon (CCCL), they were moved to tears.
“I can’t look at this drawing without crying,” Jeff told The961.
“Ali has reached out from his room at the CCCL in Beirut and touched many people here. We only wish we could do more for Ali and the CCCL,” he added.
The Malkoon siblings, who are 3rd generation of Lebanese descendants, run Americano Foods, a nut-butter company in Phoenix, Arizona. After the Beirut Blast, they prompted to launch a fundraiser for Beirut, specifically to help the CCCL.
“We heard what CCCL was doing to take in children from other affected hospitals and we quickly launched a fundraiser for them.”
The Malkoon siblings found a large local bank to match what they could raise from the sale of their nut-butter products.
With the support of the people of Arizona and the Lebanese community there, they were able to raise close to $10,000 within one week.
Jeff told us that they were initially disappointed and wished they could do more. They had no idea they’d be receiving a gesture of thanks from CCCL, specifically from young Ali who himself painted it for them.
So when the artwork arrived, Jeff says they couldn’t stop crying, “We were so humbled. It was very emotional.”