Generosity brings smile to Broome family

Headshot of Jakeb Waddell
Jakeb WaddellBroome Advertiser
Nissy Nassif (middle) with the Saraza family members Matt, 13, Ronaldo, Monette and Marty, 9.
Camera IconNissy Nassif (middle) with the Saraza family members Matt, 13, Ronaldo, Monette and Marty, 9. Credit: Wiping Tears Charitable Foundation/Picture: Wiping Tears Charitable Foundation

Life has certainly not been easy for Broome’s Ronaldo and Monette Saraza.

The couple’s 13-year-old son Matt was born with cerebral palsy and he will be in a wheelchair for his entire life, without the ability to speak.

His high medical needs have meant his mother has assumed the role of full-time carer, preventing her from working while living in the State’s most expensive region.

But despite the struggles and hardships, it is rare to spot the pair without smiles on their faces.

This positivity caught the attention of Sydney-based socialite Nissy Nassif, who recently made a big-hearted donation to the family.

Ms Nassif and husband Jean run the Wiping Tears Foundation, which helps people in crisis because of illness or financial hardship.

The well-known public figure, who has more than 16,000 social media followers, immediately knew she had to help after hearing the Sarazas’ heartbreaking story and flew to meet them in the Kimberley town.

Through the charity, Ms Nassif paid off $18,000 worth of hospital bills and the $6000 remaining for the family’s car, made specifically to accommodate Matt’s disability.

She has also promised the couple she will fund a new custom-made wheelchair for the young boy.

Mrs Saraza said she and her husband were beyond grateful for the generosity.

“Just recently, we had to take him to Perth to see a specialist, his neurologist for his serious episodes of seizures and, again, it is another cost for us because of the airfare, accommodation and transport,” she said.

“As advised by his doctor, if the worst happens, which we are praying so hard that it doesn’t, we have to fly him to Perth immediately.

“Transport has definitely been an issue, as Matt requires a special wheelchair to get around and we needed a car that would accommodate this. “Unfortunately, this costs a lot of money so we were very grateful when Wiping Tears stepped in to assist.”

Ms Nassif said she loved spending time with young Matt, who was “such a smiley boy.” “I feel because I have been so blessed, I am in a position to help others, so I must,” she said.

“It broke my heart to see how much hardship his family was going through, yet they continue to remain positive.”

Ms Nassif said she hoped to continue to work with families in Broome and other regional areas.

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