Four siblings in the Sezhube area of Umzingwane believed to be suffering from a genetic degenerative disorder, which has left them physically challenged, are appealing for assistance to undergo further medical tests and treatment.

It is hard to believe that the four siblings, Velile Ncube (49), Nokuthula Ncube (42), Welcome Ncube (41) and Bukhosi Ncube (37) used to lead normal and happy lives.

In fact, Velile, who was born with a speech and hearing impairment, said he used to be a boxer of note during his heydays in Bulawayo, with a dream to take his passion for the sport to a higher level.

But it was in 1998 when his life took a turn for the worst as a suspected genetic disorder began to afflict him.

20 years later, his three younger siblings are now suffering from the same ailment.

“I used to lead an active life at school I played rugby for years. I later did driving lessons locally before moving to South Africa where I worked for seven years. Then my contract was terminated because I could no longer do much due to the illness forcing me to come back home. My wish is that we get assistance so that we undergo further tests,” he said. 

“It started in 2005. Whenever I tried to walk around, I would lose balance and it has gotten worse with time,” said Nokuthula

“My wish is to work and have a family like most of my peers but my situation has made it impossible. My parents are poor, they should not be looking after me, I should be fending for them and that makes me really sad,” said Bukhosi.

Parents of the four siblings could not help but break down in tears when they spoke about their children’s condition.

Their appeal is for Zimbabweans to assist their children to undergo further tests and receive medical treatment so that they can reclaim their lives.

“My wish is for my children to receive full medical attention because I feel they will get better but if you have no money in this country, you cannot achieve anything. I also struggle to feed them because we don’t harvest much in this area,” said Ethel Masuku, the mother.

“My prayer is for my children to get help so that they are cured of this disease. I also hope doctors will do their best to get my children out of this misery,” the father, Gladwin Ncube said.

A diagnosis that was done on Welcome at Parirenyatwa hospital in Harare indicated that  he could be suffering from Spino Cerebellar Ataxia, a genetic disorder characterised by slow progressive incardination of gait and is often associated with poor coordination of hands, speech and eye movements.

Genetic testing was required to confirm the condition but due to financial problems this has not happened and travelling to Esidogini hospital for rehabilitation and psychological support has also been a challenge for the siblings.

Those willing to assist can get in touch with Mr Gladwin Ncube on 0775 245 345 or 0735 587 398 or Ms Phiri on 0773 485 489.  

Money can also be deposited into to POSB account number 203530001797.