Michelle the Mountain Mover

In 2012, at the tender age of twelve, Wadzanayi Michelle Mayiseni one day collapsed during a normal physical education session, which, in an unbelievable tale unfolded like fiction. In no time, an x-ray confirmed an osteosarcoma (bone cancer) diagnosis, a disease that had earlier claimed the life of her paternal grandfather’s brother, setting her wondering whether the same fate would befall her. She was, however fortunate to receive assistance from KidzCan Zimbabwe which was only in its third year of being registered as a Private Voluntary Organisation (PVO).

Despite her challenging background in the ghetto suburb of Kambuzuma in Harare, Michelle defeated cancer and earned her place at one of the world’s top universities, Columbia University, where she graduated with honours in Neuroscience and Behaviour in May 2023. Recently she was at the United Nations General Assembly where she, narrated how she escaped from the grasp of cancer in settings that have a low survival rate. She attained a prestigious degree and posted the best speech that further decorated her on the academic front, giving her a voice. Michelle is currently furthering her studies at Yale University in the United States.

As an amputee and bone cancer survivor, Wadzanayi’s journey serves as an inspiration and a call to action in the fight against childhood cancer.


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