MUTARE, ZIMBABWE —
God works in mysterious ways! This is all what the Nyakunika family in Manicaland province’s Mutasa village is saying following a surprise assistance package for the sole breadwinner, Kizito Nyakunika, who has been battling breast cancer since 2013.
Nyakunika has been struggling to pay at least $250 for chemotherapy treatment sessions.
His savings were almost exhausted when the family of former Deputy Energy Minister Munacho Mutezo chipped in and paid part of his medical bills. The Mutezos also bought groceries for his family.
Mutezo’s wife, Loveness, who presented $500 cash to the Nyakunikas recently in addition to the groceries, said it is the duty of fellow Zimbabweans that have a reliable source of income to help the less privileged members of society.
She says her family was touched by Nyakunika’s plight.
“It’s our responsibility as Zimbabweans to reach out and help the less privileged members of our society,” said Mrs. Mutezo. “When we read the article about him, it touched us.”
She noted that it was everyone’s wish and hope that Nyakunika would recover and contribute to the rebuilding of Zimbabwe and be a source of inspiration to others afflicted by breast cancer.
Nyakunika’s wife, Mavis, was in tears as she could not contain her joy following the handover of the cash and groceries. She said she had almost lost hope although she kept praying for a miracle to happen to her husband who is the family’s breadwinner.
“We had almosyt lost hope but we kept praying and we want to thank God today for coming through for us through the Mutezo family,” she said.
Nyakunika thanked the Mutezo family for assisting his family, saying medical bills had eroded their savings.
He said he was in shock and disbelief soon after he was diagnosed of breast cancer, which in most cases affects women.
“It all started as a small pimple and I largely ignored it not knowing it was turning into something else that has really been painful in treatment,” said Nyakunika.
The former commuter omnibus driver stopped work owing to his deteriorating health some months later and in October 2014, he was taken to a theater for a surgical operation.
He said what followed was a series of hospital visits to Parirenyatwa Group of Hospitals for several health check-ups and blood tests and a couple of chemotherapy sessions.
Nyakunika said to date he has undergone several chemotherapy sessions, which he described as very painful and money-gobbling.
He said his wife is unemployed and the couple has four children; two boys and two girls that are jobless.
Nyakunika has tried to use traditional herbs to no avail following his failure to raise enough money to continue with chemotherapy treatment but realized that his condition was deteriorating and had to seek modern medical attention.
There are no tangible statistics on men afflicted by breast cancer in Zimbabwe.
According to the National Breast Cancer Foundation of the United States, although breast cancer in men is rare, an estimated 2,150 men in the U.S are diagnosed with breast cancer each year.
Breast cancer is a disease in which malignant cells form in the tissues of the breast. Medical experts say the damaged cells can invade surrounding tissue, but with early detection and treatment, most people continue to live a normal life.