Skin cancer fighter appeals for help

Skin cancer fighter appeals for help
Bhekinkosi Dube

Bhekinkosi Dube

Munyaradzi Doma recently in Shurugwi
A seven-year-old Shurugwi girl battling skin cancer is seeking assistance for specialist medical care to remove a huge growth on her left cheek.

Bhekinkosi Dube, who writhes in excruciating pain from her face and abdomen, lives with her 71-year-old grandmother, Ms Moddy Ndara, in Dzikamidzi C Village in Shurugwi. Ms Ndara, known in the area as Gogo Dube, has to fend for Bhekinkosi and three other grandchildren, together with her unemployed son.

“She developed skin cancer when she was just three-months-old and has been living with the condition for the past seven years. Her mother died when she was four-years-old and that is when I started taking care of her,” said Mrs Ndara. Mrs Ndara said Bhekinkosi was once admitted at Parirenyatwa Group of Hospitals for more than a month, but the condition persisted.

“I was told to take her for a review, but could not see the doctor,” she said.

“I have done all I can to help my granddaughter, but it seems we can’t find a solution. I don’t know how many chickens I have taken to all sorts of traditional healers, but she is not getting any better.” Mrs Ndara thanked people who have helped her. She noted a community volunteer, Ms Fungai Florence Marimbire, who has twice taken Bhekinkosi to South Africa for specialist attention.

“The doctors in South Africa said we had delayed in seeking treatment because her condition is now life threatening if they operated. But I remain hopeful that one day my grandchild will lead a normal life like her peers,” she said.

Mrs Ndara said apart from the treatment which she desperately needs for Bhekinkosi, the family was not food secure. Ms Marimbire said she was touched by Bhekinkosi’s plight.

“She was once taken to the hospital here in Shurugwi and they gave her diclofenac so that at least the pain could lessen, otherwise they said they could not do anything else to help her,” he said. Ms Marimbire said the family needed food and medication.

“If we could get help for her to be attended to by a specialist, maybe Bhekinkosi could have a better life,” she said. For those willing to help, Gogo Dube can be reached on 0773558923, while Ms Marimbire can be contacted on 0776090944.

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