Mothers of children with cerebral palsy get treatment money by selling Turkish food on Facebook
ISTANBULMothers of children suffering from cerebral palsy from four Turkish provinces have been securing the money necessary for the treatment of their children by selling traditional food on Facebook.
The mothers have been selling traditional “sarma” vine leaves on Facebook and receiving support from all over the country, daily Habertürk reported on June 29.
The idea of selling food through social media was first applied by Semra Sönmez from the southern province of Antalya, who started preparing sarma to look after his child. Three other mothers from Ankara, Istanbul and the western province of İzmir later got in on the act.
Due to the difficulty of working while also looking after their children, the mothers reportedly cook at night.
They receive orders for the food they prepare from provinces across Turkey, and customers who simply want to support the mothers can request for the food to be donated to people in need such as elderly people at nursing homes.
Sönmez, who lives alone with her son, had been working as a cleaner to try to provide for her son Mehmet Ercan, until he could not move any longer.
“I was taking my son along with me when I was going to houses for cleaning. But after he suffered spine, thigh and pelvis injuries, his whole body had to be encased in plaster. I couldn’t take him with me and didn’t have anyone to leave him with,” Sönmez told Habertürk.
“We started this business with three of my friends and we never guessed it would expand so much,” she said.
Another mother, Bilnur Aydın from Ankara, said she started selling sarma in order to be able to afford machines necessary for the treatment of her daughter Ecrin Naz.
Aydın told Habertürk that her daughter became bedridden after undergoing mistaken thigh surgery at the age of 5.
“After the surgery, the same doctor performed two more surgeries but her situation got worse,” she said.
Neslihan Akın from İzmir also cooks for online sales in order to support her son.
“My son has cerebral palsy, epilepsy and chronic lung disease. He has to live with a mask and because I’m so scared that the mask could fall I can’t even sleep at nights,” Akın said.
Kamuran Çelik from Istanbul said the state’s aid is not sufficient for the treatment of his son, Mustafa Kemal.
“We are receiving great support from the people,” said Çelik, who distributes sarma that she prepares with her son using city buses.
“Someone called us and said the state gives us 900 Turkish Liras, complaining that we are abusing and neglecting our children to gain more money. But 45 minutes of physical therapy costs 200 liras, so think about the rest: Machines, strollers, medicine, treatment. It’s impossible to pay for all of this with the money provided by the state,” she added.
Çelik also said the cooking mothers sometimes direct some orders to each other if one of them needs support.