I AM NORMAL
By: Nompilo Mkhwanazi
Cancer is an easy word to utter when you are still a kid but a rather difficult disease to understand when you are told that you have it.
When she was thirteen years old, Bongi Mdluli was diagnosed with Osteogenic Sarcoma, which is a primary bone cancer seen in adolescents and young adults. At that time she did not know what that meant. She started limping and she endured a lot of pain but to her it was nothing serious.
“When I was limping my parents reckoned I go to the hospital and it was then that I heard the most shocking news of my life- I had cancer,” said Mdluli.
The doctors gave her the option of having her leg amputated but her parents refused and thought there should be another way to solve her problem. She had to make a decision for herself if she still wished to live longer.
“This is my life there is someone I want to be. I still have my whole life ahead of me. If I don’t do something and wait for my parents surely I won’t see the rest of my days,” said Mdluli.
Mdluli got her leg amputated without parental consent as she was old enough to make that decision. Doctors had told her she was going to die if she does not get amputation. She made a decision which saved her life.
“It was not easy to face my parents after I had went behind their backs but with God’s grace they came around and gave me all the support I needed at that time,” said Mdluli.
Bongi is a young 20-year-old who has only one leg and is a cancer survivor. She sees herself as no different from others. She is passionate about life and full of ambition. She does not let her disability stand in her way. She aspires to reach out to other young people whose physical appearance and disability have tarnished their self-esteem.
“I love life and I hate people who feel sorry for me. I mean, I am God’s favorite daughter- he had planned that my life would be like this so I don’t have a problem. I am happy with my life,” said Mdluli.
She has had many people requesting to sponsor her with an artificial leg and many willing to help her with getting her a wheelchair but she refuses such help. She believes she should remain true to herself and not have any artificial leg.
“An Artificial leg is uncomfortable to use so I prefer using my crutches. They don’t limit me. I can even wear my high heels,” said Mdluli.