In this report we would like to pay tribute to one of our first patients and her grandmother to come through the Rainbow Childrens Village on the 9th of February 2023. Their life and story have touched KidzCan very much and hope it will move you and inspire you too.
A woman with a golden heart
Her smile is infectious and when she talks, an aura of love pervades the room.
To the unsuspecting, you would never think she has a burden that she so graciously carries. She is indeed the gift that keeps on giving.
This is 67-year-old Susan Wasa who has committed to taking care of her 3-year-old grandson Tinashe, who can neither talk nor walk.
Tinashe cannot do what his normal counterparts do.
We are always taking for granted how we can easily walk into the other room or lift our hands with ease. This is not so with Tina, as his grandmother calls him.
In December 2022 his situation was further compounded by the discovery of a huge bulge on his left side that caused his tummy to swell up and seemed to weigh him down.
This turned out to be Wilms tumour, cancer that attacks the kidney.
This was a new problem, having earlier been blind which impaired his vision for the better part of his three years of existence.
Recently he was successfully operated on at Sekuru Kaguvi eye unit in Parirenyatwa Hospital and that sort of eased his problems as sight was restored.
But he could not celebrate too quickly as this is when Wilms tumour reared its ugly head.
Tinashe’s father recently suffered a stroke and the mother is equally bedridden with an undisclosed illness.
This meant that Susan had to set aside her retirement bliss to take over by ensuring that she makes all the necessary treatment errands with the boy.
But she was never alone in her walk to getting the best treatment and care for her grandson as KidzCan, through the Rainbow Childrens Village(RCV), was ready to welcome her with a warm embrace for Tinashe, by intervening to lessen the burden, thus becoming one of the first three patients housed at the RCV.
Coming from Mutare (300km away), her aged and unemployed husband has no resources to see her through the demands of treatment.
The four weeks that Susan and Tinashe have been in the RCV seem to be the silver lining on their dark cloud as he has, for the first time, managed to get off the bed on his own with a smile, a thing that has never happened in his life. An ecstatic Susan upon seeing Tinashe take his first steps explains,
“It has not been easy taking care of Tinashe because he cannot do what other kids do.
“It means I have to do everything for him.
“I am just happy that he seems to have responded well to treatment and my hope has been re-ignited.
Finally, God has answered my prayer,” said Susan.
Mbuya Tinashe as she is fondly known, has earned the monicker ‘head girl’ owing to her long stay in the home, and enjoys it, as she takes pleasure in orienting new tenants, is a joy to be around with all the jokes she cracks mixed with an accent that only Manicaland in the Eastern Province of Zimbabwe can only provide.
It is her love for Tinashe that is striking as she has hit a rich bond of understanding with king Tinashe, making them inseparable. In the month of March, the international month for women we appreciate her.
As KidzCan Zimbabwe it is a joy and we feel buoyed seeing how kids respond fast to chemotherapy and good nutrition.
The Rainbow Children’s Village, is a home where children going through chemotherapy are temporarily housed during treatment sessions before returning home. It is more like a second home right next to a mother’s heart really.
Thanks to your support through GlobalGiving we are able to help children like Tinashe ensuring KidzCan continues to help make a difference to childhood cancer in Zimbabwe.
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(PEASE NOTE THESE ARE NOT THEIR REAL NAMES USED IN THIS REPORT, BUT PERMISIION HAS BEEN GRANTED TO USE THEIR PICTURES. ALL OUR PATIENTS SIGN A CONSENT FORM)
Golden Granny 2
Golden Granny taught to knit 3
Golden Granny and grandchild 4
Golden Granny moments 5