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Donor Story: 18-year-old raises $50,000 to save hundreds of children’s lives

UPDATE – JUNE 13, 2024

Eighteen-year-old recent high school graduate, Reem Siddiqui, impressively continues her fundraising efforts in support of transportation for Sickle Cell Disease patients at Children’s Hospital of Michigan. To date, she has raised $50,000 for The Children’s Foundation and plans to continue her efforts into her college career:

2021-2022: $12,000

2022-2023: $28,000

2023-2024: $10,000


Elijah Williams, two years old, happily gave Reem Siddiqui a hug and high-five after receiving treatment for Sickle Cell Disease (SCD) at Children’s Hospital of Michigan (CHM). It was a happy meeting for the patient and founder of MiCaringHeart, and a chance for Reem to see the impact her fundraising efforts has on those who need it most.

Elijah arrived at CHM in a cab paid for by donations to MiCaringHeart and went home that way too. Elijah’s mom, Jermitta Williams, cannot drive and said it would cost nearly $100 round-trip to take a cab to the hospital from Clinton Township for Elijah’s treatment.

“People like me who don’t know how to drive and only have Medicaid transportation need this help,” said Jermitta and she encouraged those to donate to MiCaringHeart to help people like her.

Reem plans to actively fundraise before the holidays to raise more funds to help patients like Elijah pay for transportation to and from CHM in order to receive the treatment he needs for SCD.


In less than three months, 16-year-old Reem Siddiqui raised $12,000 to help kids with Sickle Cell Disease (SCD) receive life-saving treatment.

The funds donated to The Children’s Foundation will be used to support the Children’s Hospital of Michigan (CHM), providing transportation for many metro Detroit families who have challenges getting their child to and from appointments.

Reem’s mom, Rana Khatib, M.D., is a pediatrician at CHM’s Sickle Cell Disease Clinic which experiences patients missing their appointments quite often due to transportation issues.

“When I was younger and had a day off from school because of a snow day or just a day off, I would often go with my mom to work,” Reem said. “And I would notice some of her patients missing appointments because they couldn’t find transportation.”

For patients with SCD, missing an appointment can lead to unpredictable pain, anemia, infection, or even a stroke. Some kids come in twice per year, while others must come in as often as once a month. Though insurance does pay for transportation, it is often unreliable.

The $12,000 donation will provide approximately 400 patients with roundtrips to and from the hospital – and Reem is continuing her fundraising efforts throughout the year. She created a non-profit called MiCaringHeart where people can donate and learn more about the SDC Clinic and their patients.

“This is something our clinic needed.” Reem’s mother, Dr Khatib said. “So as a physician that takes care of patients with sickle cell, I couldn’t be happier. As a mother, I couldn’t be prouder. And I’m happy that those visits that were seemingly innocent weren’t a waste.”

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