ZANELE'S JOURNEY OF COURAGE
DETECTION & AWARENESS
Just before Zanele turned 1, her mom, Bongile, noticed that there was something not quite right with the way her daughter’s bruises were healing. Since Zanele was 1 and still getting comfortable with walking, like all other kids she took a couple spills here and there. Bongile noticed however that the bruises were very deep and were taking a long time to heal. Then, Zanele developed painful mouth sores that prevented her from sleeping.
Zanele was taken to the local clinic that next day and thanks to a nurse with a very keen eye, she was then transferred to Tambo Memorial Hospital in Boksburg. The doctors did blood tests and were shocked to see a very low red blood cell count of only 1.2. From there Zanele was transferred one last time to Charlotte Maxeke for a bone marrow biopsy. The doctors confirmed that that she had Leukaemia and started treatment right away.
Bongile is happy that Zanele is responding positively to chemotherapy, but she also wishes that Zanele could find a perfect match bone marrow donor as this will accelerate her recovery and give her a better chance of living a longer life. Unfortunately , her siblings are only 50% matches.
HOW CUPCAKES OF HOPE HELPED OUT
As soon as Bongile learned of Zanele’s diagnosis, she was forced to quit her job so that she could take of her daughter full time. Cupcakes of Hope stepped in to help with the family’s monthly expenses and took a huge financial strain off them.
Every month Cupcakes of Hope sent Bongile money for nappies, clothing and groceries so that she could ensure Zanele was eating healthy food. Apart from that, they also covered her transport costs so that Zanele and Bongile could travel safely to and from hospital – something they needed to do very often over the first year of treatment.
Today, Bongile is overjoyed every time she sees Zanele playing with her siblings or jumping on her scooter and going on her own adventures!