Boy, four, is ‘slowly being killed’ by a MANGO-sized tumour that has left cruel locals calling him a ‘monster’ and saying he is cursed by an evil spirit
- Simbarashe Dande is shunned by other children because of the gigantic growth
- The tumour, situated in the middle of his face, stops him from eating solid food
- Doctors in Zimbabwe have said the massive tumour could kill him at any time
A four-year-old boy is slowly being killed by a football-sized tumour that his family first believed was a wart.
Simbarashe Dande is called a ‘monster’ and shunned by other children because of the gigantic growth.
The huge tumour, situated on his face, prevents Simbarashe from eating solid food and makes breathing difficult for him.
Doctors in Zimbabwe have said the tumour, of which type it is unknown, could kill him at any time.
Simbarashe Dande (pictured with his mother Maria Jasi) is slowly being killed by a football-sized tumour that his family initially dismissed as being just a wart
The huge tumour – situated on his face – prevents Simbarashe from eating solid food and makes breathing difficult for him (the youngster is pictured with his father Thompson Musiiwa)
Neighbours of the family, from Murewa – 47miles (75km) north east of Harare, fear Simbarashe has been cursed by an evil spirit.
They even stop their children own from approaching him.
Simbarashe’s aunt, Makazvita Dande, from Coventry, said her nephew has become isolated at home and is in agonising pain.
The 37-year-old restaurant worker said: ‘He’s in constant pain on a daily basis, it’s very distressing for him and the entire family.
‘He cries at night, the pain is unbearable. The tumour will kill him. It’s very difficult because his family relies on handouts from villagers, they have nothing.
‘There’s no healthcare system at all so the family have used oils and herbs from local healers, but they haven’t made a difference.’
Maka claims the tumour originally developed from a small wart on the boy’s nose around about 18 months ago.
She said: ‘It started out as a small wart on the nose but it’s just grown and grown. It totally dominates his face and it’s very upsetting to see.
‘He eats from a small gap in the left-hand side of his mouth but can only eat fluids, so he’s started to lose weight.’
Simbarashe is called a ‘monster’ and shunned by other children because of the gigantic growth. Pictured with his mother, other villagers think he is a ‘victim of witchcraft’
Pictured with his family, Simbarashe has only ever seen ‘traditional healers’ who use ‘herbs’ to try and relieve his suffering. His father even claims ‘doctors have just left him to die’
Aside from his family, Simbarashe (pictured with his relatives) is ‘very, very isolated’
WHAT ARE TUMOURS?
Tumours can be benign or cancerous (malignant).
Benign tumours usually grow quite slowly, do not spread and have a covering made up of normal cells.
Such growths only cause problems if:
- They become become very large
- Are painful or uncomfortable
- Are unpleasant to look at
- Press on the body’s organs
- Take up space within the skull
- Release hormones that affect how the body works
Malignant tumours typically:
- Are made up of cancer cells
- Grow faster
- Spread to surrounding tissue
- Enter other parts of the body via the bloodstream or lymph nodes
Tumours get bigger as cells continue to divide, which stimulates the development of blood vessels to ‘feed’ it oxygen and nutrients.
Such growths may move into new areas by putting pressure on surrounding regions, using enzymes to break down cells or entering via tissues.
Source: Cancer Research UK
Maka said doctors have so far been unable to treat him, meaning Simbarashe’s condition will continue to worsen.
His family are raising money via GoFundMe for him to travel to South Africa for life-saving surgery that will remove the tumour.
Maka added some villagers believe Simbarashe is the victim of a voodoo curse.
She said: ‘The other villagers think that someone put an evil spirit on him and that he’s the victim of witchcraft.
‘He sees traditional healers and they use herbs but obviously it makes no difference. They just use painkillers but only when we send them.
‘Some people feel sorry for him but lots of people are afraid and think that the tumour could infect them. He’s very, very isolated.’
Speaking from Zimbabwe, his heartbroken father Thompson Musiiwa, 48, added: ‘We’ve had no help. The doctor’s have just left him to die.’
The family live in a remote part of Zimbabwe and have no income. They also have three other children to look after, according to their fundraising page.
Simbarashe’s tumour means he is unable to eat most types of food. Pictured is the food he can have, which includes milk, juice, rice, bread, yoghurt, flour and oil