When Meg* was rushed to hospital with crippling stomach pain last year a scan revealed a large tumor which was seeping through her stomach walls.
The dreaded word peritonitis was a reality, her stomach wall had ruptured and the doctors said Meg’s chances were very small.
Thanks to a niece in South Africa who had connections with a surgeon, Meg was flown out for emergency surgery.
Everyone pulled together: the church, her friends and well wishers and Meg was finally in hospital.
Then came the news everyone feared: the tumor was malignant and Meg had cancer. For four months Meg fought to stay alive.
“How can we help,” I asked her sister, and she replied: “Is there anything you can to do to help Meg stop worrying so she can concentrate on getting well? ”
Meg had been getting help towards her rent from ZANE for a couple of years after her husband died and while Zimbabwe’s economy was in decline, but now she couldn’t keep up her side of the payments and was worried she would lose her cottage because of rent arrears.
Meg’s passion is the little pre-school she runs in her home town. With one helper they give fifty children a good start in life but her health risked her losing her life-long dream.
A year later Meg is back at her beloved pre-school but can only manage two hours at a time, three mornings a week. She refused chemotherapy but the cancer is still in remission.
Meg is weak and frail but determined to have hope and keep going.
Her pre-school gives her a reason for living.
“I couldn’t do it without ZANE” she said when I visited her, “God bless you and your donors.”
* Names and images have been changed for security reasons.