Palestinian teen gets new prosthetic leg, lease on life thanks to Raleigh nonprofit
Posted May 2, 2016
Raleigh, N.C. — Humanitarian groups spend countless hours trying to help children and families in the war-torn Middle East, but at times, those efforts seem fruitless.
For Abdallah Snoubar, the efforts of a local nonprofit that helps Palestinian children brought him to Raleigh, where he was able to get back on his feet.
Two years ago, Palestinian doctors discovered that Snoubar had a cancerous tumor on his left knee.
Eventually, doctors were forced to amputate part of Snoubar's leg as he underwent treatment in an Israeli hospital for his cancer.
Snoubar was on crutches after his ordeal, until a Raleigh-based chapter of the Palestinian Children's Relief Fund brought the 16-year-old to Raleigh.
The group helped Snoubar get dental, vision and medical care, including a new prosthetic leg.
"Less than 20 people in the U.S. have a prosthesis like this," Brent Wright, who works at Raleigh's EastPoint Orthotics, said. "It's fairly new technology."
Unlike most prosthetics, which are modeled to the shape of a leg, Snoubar's model has adjustable straps and pads.
"He's able to adjust the tension, so it's like an all-in-one prosthesis," Wright said of the $16,000 device.
Thanks to donations from the Palestinian Children's Relief Fund and free labor from EastPoint Orthotics and Sunstone Lab, the prosthetic's manufacturer, Snoubar received the leg as a gift.
Snoubar was staying with a host family in the Triangle when he tried the leg without crutches for the first time.
"The excitement of not having the crutch on him, and being able to walk without it and play, was exciting for all of us," Lana Hamad, one of Snoubar's host parents, said.
While in the Triangle, Snoubar attended a Carolina RailHawks game and received clothing and gifts from people who donated to the PCRF.
Snoubar says he now believes "anything is possible" and he said having his new prosthesis helps him believe in himself.