‘Big Heart’: Matric pupil loses leukaemia battle

2012-12-27 00:00

REMEMBER Mashabela (19) completed his matric exams on his second try this year and was eagerly awaiting his results.

But last Wednesday he lost his battle against leukaemia.

Mashabela made the news when Basic Education Minister Angie Motshekga delivered the first exam paper to him in the isolation unit at Pretoria East Hospital.

He was supposed to have a bone marrow transplant that week, but it never took place, said Marick Coetzee, his grade 12 guardian at the Northern Academy in Polokwane.

Coetzee said that in 2010 Mashabela begged her not to let doctors admit him to hospital because he wanted to write matric.

He was unable to complete the exams that year because he was too sick, although he completed two subjects.

This year, while he was seriously ill in hospital, he wrote maths, physical science, life sciences, Afrikaans and English.

“It takes a big heart to do what he did,” said Coetzee.

She said he wanted to study medicine, to help other sick children.

All that Mashabela left incomplete was the book he was writing, Happiness is a Choice.

Neither of his parents was available to comment.

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