“ Never doubt yourself or your capabilities and know that every pain has a purpose.
In November 2016, mAss Kickers Foundation went to Africa for the first time. We were also able to connect with the pediatric cancer organization, CHOC SA. We met a very cool pediatric survivor, Vuyolwethu Vuvu Magxwalisa. One of the thrivers that accompanied us on this trip is a long-term pediatric cancer survivor and instantly connected with her. It was great seeing them meet for the first time and interact with each other! We were very honored to meet Vuvu and highlight her on our website!
mK: Who is Vuvu?
VM: My name is Vuyolwethu Vuvu Magxwalisa from South Africa and I’m 19 years of age.
mK: When did you get the diagnose of cancer; age, type.
VM: I was diagnosed with Aplastic anemia (blood disease) in 2011 I had to do a Bone marrow Transplant. My little brother Andile Magxwalisa was my donor. My little brother was three years of age at that time. I was twelve years of age. I’ve had three transplants done: first one in 2011, second 2013 and last one in 2016
mK: In what why did it affect your life?
VM: It affected me in so many ways like: playing sports, dancing, and hanging out with my friends and family. I really felt I was restricted or like I was in a bubble. I couldn’t even start school because I could get an infection.
mK: So, tell me Vuvu, why did you get involved with the CHOC organization?
VM: CHOC is a place we call home, a home away from home. It’s rare to find amazing places like CHOC who offer their services to South Africans. They help children and families from other provinces or countries who are dealing with life-threatening illnesses who are undergoing treatment. That’s when CHOC offered accommodation for my family.
mK: In what way does CHOC helps you?
VM: They helped us through our treatment: taking us to our appointments and giving us food. At CHOC we meet families from different places. We become more than just friends, but a family.
mK: Going through a journey with cancer, you learn so much about yourself, what’s the most valuable thing have you learned?
VM: Being positive and being strong at all times. It’s also taught me to value and appreciate life more and not to take it for granted. I believe that sometimes you have to go through the worst to prepare yourself for the best.
mK: What do you like to do to take your mind off of everything?
VM: I love music and dancing, listening to music that’s got meaning and makes me think positively.
mK: What motivates you to keep thriving through your journey with cancer?
VM: What motivates me is being positive and sharing the positive feeling around with others. Encouraging others makes me feel so happy and motivated.
mK: Who is your biggest inspiration and why do they inspire you?
VM: My parents and little brother are my inspiration. My parents have done so much for me. They never gave up on me, instead they always let me know that everything will be okay. Their love and support is so special and I have been so blessed with wonderful parents. They are a true definition of a parent. Then we have my hero my little brother Andile I was very lucky he was 100% match. He’s been my donor for all the 3 transplants I’ve done. He’s such a special soul who is so proud in saving his sister life. I will be forever thankful for what my family has done for me.
mK: What are your life goals?
VM: To start my own organization by giving away journals to people young people in hospitals because having a journal helped me through my journey. Becoming a motivational speaker and traveling the world.
mK: If you could tell someone who is battling cancer something special, what would you tell them?
VM: Never doubt yourself or your capabilities and know that every pain has a purpose.
mK: What do you hope this interview will inspire in someone?
VM: To show there is still life after cancer or any type of illness you have. Knowing that someone is also been through what I’ve been through and overcoming it is amazing.
We were very honored to interview Vuyolwethu Vuvu Magxwalisa. She is one of the youngest Featured mAss Kickers. Special thanks to Gerri Clayton, a long term pediatric survivor for conducting the interview. Thanks for doing the interview Vuvu! We will definitely keep an eye on what you do next!