Here is Mzwandile’s story in his own words:   My name is Mzwandile. I am a 58-year-old single father from Fani Village in Queenstown, Eastern Cape. My one and only son, Asanele Matume, who is 8 years old, was left with my sister when I went to town to look for a job. Asanele was only about 2 weeks old, and from then on, I had to raise him on my own with the assistance of my sister and my brother.

Asanele grew up very well until the beginning of April 2024, when he experienced a loss of appetite, high temperatures, and just not feeling himself. I took him to the clinic every time he was not well, but he was not getting any better. He was then transferred to Frontier Hospital in Queenstown where tests were done.

My world was shattered when I was told that my son has cancer of the blood (leukaemia). He is my only hope, and I only want what is best for him. We were transferred to Frere Hospital in East London for further management.

Upon arrival at Frere, we met with the amazing doctors, social worker, and nurses. Just a day after we were admitted, I was given some items by CHOC, such as toiletries, shoes, and a few items of clothing, as we traveled in haste from home. When I first arrived here, I was wearing heavy-duty boots and work overalls. The doctor immediately gave my child treatment for his cancer, and I am so proud to say my son can get up from his bed again already and join the other kids to play – all within two weeks of starting his treatment.

I am happy I followed my heart and put my child first by coming to this unit. The doctors have lots of hope for my son, and while I am taking things one day at a time, I am looking forward to the day (whether it’s years later) when I am able to go home with my child and say that he is cancer-free.

Thank you, Frere Hospital and CHOC, for everything.

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