Angelina Jolie has traveled to northern Iraq to visit refugees who have fled Syria.
The star visited the country last month and met with Ronia, a Kurdish widow whose children have special medical needs. Ronia is among many mothers struggling to care for the families.
"If I were living with nothing, just eating bread and onions, but they were not sick, then I would be fine. But this illness has taken a huge toll on us," Ronia told APTN.
Ronia is raising five young girls all on her own. Two of her daughters have thalassaemia, a genetic blood disorder that stunts their growth and can be fatal.
"My husband suffered from thalassaemia… He died as there was no treatment here," Ronia said.
Ronia's family fled Syria nearly six years ago. She takes her two daughters, Roshda and Leila, to the hospital every other week for blood transfusions but says they can't get all of the medical treatment they need in Iraq.
"I am afraid I will lose them like I lost their dad," Ronia said.
Jolie commended the mom for her courage and care.
"Somehow she's managed to have a home that feels so warm and full of love and her children smiling through all of this. It is such a credit to her," Jolie said.
The visit marked Jolie's 61st mission with the U.N. Refugee Agency since 2001. It was her first time visiting Iraq.