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#5188: Politicians try to unite sick kid,Haitian mom (fwd)

From: nozier@tradewind.net

Published Thursday, September 28, 2000, in the Miami Herald 

 Politicians try to unite sick kid, Haitian mom BY EMILY BLISS 
 Several South Florida politicians are fighting to unite a mother in
Haiti with her 13-year-old son, who's being treated for leukemia at
Broward General Medical Center. The boy, Gallando Etienne, who lives
with an aunt in Lauderhill, hasn't seen his mother since
 he left Haiti three years ago on a permanent visa to join his
grandmother in Florida. ``You can imagine the child is scared enough
 to have to deal with the diagnosis of leukemia,'' said Etienne's
doctor, Rudy Roskos, a pediatric oncologist at Broward General. ``I
 believe it's important to have as much family support as possible.''

 Since Etienne told his mother, Marie Sanon, of his illness, she has
sought permission from the U.S. Embassy in Haiti to visit him.
 Both times, she was turned down. ``He is sick. He is always sad. He
needs me to be with him,'' Sanon said Wednesday from her home in Port au
Prince. Doctors say Etienne is clinically depressed and in desperate
need of his mother. He is now hoping that, with the help of U.S. Sen.
Connie Mack, U.S. Reps. Alcee Hastings and Carrie Meek, Broward General
doctors and the Florida Immigrant Advocacy Center, his mother will be
here soon. The politicians are asking U.S. Attorney General Janet Reno
to grant Sanon a humanitarian parole, something Reno can do at her
discretion, on a case-by-case basis. Humanitarian parole would allow
Sanon to come to the United States temporarily for reasons of
compassion. ``If ever there was a compelling case for humanitarian
parole, this is it,'' said Cheryl Little, executive director of the
immigrant advocacy center. ``In a case like this, there is such a need
for a mother to be with her son.'' Though the U.S. Embassy in Haiti
refused to comment, those involved in the case said Sanon probably was
denied the visas because she could not prove to the embassy's
satisfaction that she would return to Port au Prince.
 Little and others point out, however, that it may be medically
necessary for Sanon to come to the United States: She may be needed to
donate bone marrow in the future. Etienne, a shy boy who recently was
discharged from Broward General after three weeks, said Wednesday during
one of his chemotherapy treatments that he thinks about having his
mother with him every day. ``If she comes here I'll jump on her and give
her a big hug,'' he said. He said immigration officials should put
themselves in his mother's shoes and imagine that their only child is
sick and far away. ``A child should not be forced to have a
life-threatening illness and not have the consolation of his mother,''
said Patricia Williams, Hastings' aide. ``It's frightening
 enough to be told about leukemia and chemotherapy. It's really scary
when the child is 13 years