Jethro’s Mawire’s Story

jethro

Oscar Wilde once said, “What seems to us bitter trials are often blessings in disguise.” This seems true in Jethro Mawire’s fight against cancer which in retrospect could not stop him from achieving his dream of studying for a medical degree. ‘’Enlarge my territory’’ just like the biblical Jabez, he appealed to God in his moment of tribulation, and God, as always, was indeed faithful.

At the age of 18 in 2018, Jethro woke up to unfamiliar excruciating pains in his neck and armpits which after an investigation turned out to be Hodgin’s lymphoma cancer, a disease that affects the lymphatic system of the body.

For Jethro and his family, his ailment was a steep mountain they had no idea how to climb owing to the expensive drugs and scans needed in the diagnostic process. Jethro was introduced to KidzCan Zimbabwe where he was immediately registered, and the burden of drug fees became a thing of the past. However, while KidzCan Zimbabwe now footed his medical bills, his condition came at a time when he was doing his Form 3 at Chirozva Secondary school, Buhera, Manicaland. The experience disrupted his learning schedule as he had to devise a way of taking both challenges head-on. Upon being initiated on chemotherapy Jethro responded amazingly, and the power of the drugs was immediately manifested with an improvement in his condition. The lumps and pains in the armpits soon disappeared.  For Jethro, this appeared to be a catalyst as it subsequently spurred him into working even harder at school.

When you have a vision, you never stop dreaming. After all, they say “vibe alone until you are valued”. While undergoing chemotherapy treatment Jethro wrote his ‘O’ levels. This is no mean feat given that chemotherapy cycles can be harrowing. Moreso, one gets breaks to allow the body to recuperate in time for another session of chemotherapy. So, Jethro had to play karate with the two challenges. This, however, was an opportunity for young Jethro, who resiliently summoned all the little energy he still had to score big on the academic front. When the results came, he had 10A’s!

Resultantly Jethro was healed from the disease and ushered into remission in 2020. Two years later, he again posted 4 As in sciences at A level and was shortly accepted into medical school where he is currently pursuing medicine, and hopes to specialize in oncology. For Jethro, overcoming cancer in his body has given him a new impetus in life as he now helps other cancer patients fight against it as a survivor.

‘’It is especially important for me because my patients will be privileged to have a doctor who has been through exactly what they will also be going through.

“Sometimes it is difficult to explain what one will be feeling to a doctor,” said Jethro.

His is one of the rare early treatment cases where one gets successfully healed in a region where childhood cancer awareness is low. KidzCan Nurse and health coordinator Charity Kawadza added, ‘’children are precious and they are resilient’’ Jethro continues to do well in his studies and his dream to be an oncologist has fully taken shape. An indication that childhood cancer can be defeated. It is possible!

It is against this background that KidzCan Zimbabwe continues to raise awareness of childhood cancer in a bid to align with the World Health Organisation’s Global Initiative on Childhood Cancer to raise the survival rate to 60% by 2030. This is key because awareness leads to early detection, and because children are still growing up their cells are still fresh, allowing treatment to flourish. Zimbabwe, like most low-to-medium income economies, has a stunted childhood cancer survival rate of around 20% while by contrast, the developed world has 80%

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