NBA Legend Dikembe Mutombo Flies Boy With Tumor to US for Surgery

December 13, 2018 Updated: December 13, 2018
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NBA Hall of Famer Dikembe Mutombo flew a boy with a tumor to the United States for surgery.

Mutombo flew the 8-year-old African boy to Los Angeles so he could undergo an operation.

Mutombo was spotted at Los Angeles International Airport by entertainment blog TMZ. Mutombo said he met the boy in September at a hospital he built in Congo.

“I was touched by what he’s going through as a young boy who’s 8 years old. Not going to school. The way he’s been pushed away by the society,” the basketball legend said. “His mom has to keep him in the bedroom every day because people are talking bad about him.”

As a father, Mutombo said he had trouble seeing the child, Matadi.

“Very difficult as a father to see a child who is 8 years old who is born like all of us but has not gotten opportunities,” Mutombo told ABC 13.

Mutombo flew first to Los Angeles and met the boy upon his arrival in the country.

Mutombo is paying for the boy to be operated on by doctors at the Osborne Head and Neck Foundation in Beverly Hills, with the hope that the boy will be able to integrate back into society after being shunned for having the visible tumor protruding from his face.

“He is suffering from a life-threatening illness and we are here to help this little boy and Mr. Mutombo’s foundation saved this little boy’s life,” said Dave Dell of the Osborne Head and Neck Foundation.

Matadi is going to stay with his father at the Ronald McDonald house after the surgery for the recovery period.

Charity Work

Mutombo has long been involved in charitable work in his home continent, through his Dikembe Mutombo Foundation, which sponsored Matadi’s trip and surgery.

The foundation is dedicated to improving the health, education, and quality of life for the people of the Democratic Republic of the Congo, according to its website.

The foundation opened the Biamba Marie Mutombo Hospital in December 2007 and over 250,000 patients have been treated there.

The hospital has training partnerships with university medical schools and some technicians have received training in the United States.

“This work is very challenging, but at the same time so incredibly fulfilling. Each time we see a Congolese woman who has been ostracized by her community due to a fistula, and each time such a woman can rejoin her community after surgical treatment at the hospital, we celebrate. We also cry when we see children and adults die from health conditions that could have been easily prevented or treated,” the foundation stated.

Mutombo, 52, was born in Congo and attended Georgetown University from 1988 to 1991 before graduating with a degree in linguistics and diplomacy.

After graduated, he was chosen in the NBA draft as the 4th overall pick by the Denver Nuggets. Mutombo played in the NBA until 2009, for six teams in total, including the Houston Rockets, the New York Knicks, and the Atlanta Hawks.

Mutombo is married with six children, four of whom are adopted.

From NTD News

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