She spoke to Burns, who works in the area of medical humanities.
Burns then sent word out to her colleagues and friends to see if anyone knew how to get health care for Maunganidze in Harare.
“A friend of hers Dr Janet Giddy, who is based in Cape Town, having been working on the front line providing care for Covid-19 patients, contacted medical people she knew in Harare. By that evening I had a call from a doctor in Harare offering help to Farai. I gave him contact details and he immediately got in touch with Farai.
“He arranged for Farai to have the necessary diagnostic tests. These were paid for by my friends and colleagues in the sociology department. The Harare doctor also arranged for Farai to see a surgeon and an oncologist pro bono for a consultation. A radiographer based in Harare offered his services at a substantial discount,” Bonnin said.
A crowdfunding initiative was then set up on BackaBuddy and by Friday afternoon, close to R60,000 had been raised.
“After the colostomy, what is still needed is chemo-radiotherapy to reduce the tumour. After that surgery to remove the tumour and then post-op chemotherapy. We can’t stop the treatment halfway through or the cancer will come back, so we need to raise the full amount to give Farai a chance of life,” Bonnin said.
Maunganidze said the support he received was amazing.
He wrote in a Facebook group created to raise awareness for his cause: “A great afternoon to you all. As I write to you, I am working on my computer, something I could not do last month. In August I would sleep, sleep and sleep. I was in pain, I had given up the fight, why, most likely I was fighting it all alone. Coming out is great! Little did I know of this fact. The social support I am getting is amazing. I have moved out of my cell and am enjoying your presence in your absence.
“Coming out is also working some psychological miracles in me. I realise healing has a psychological element. I am stronger now. Accepting and embracing the new reality is the first step in healing. Even before embarking on any treatment, I feel much better now compared to my state in July.”