“I am seeing places”- Mr Mciki

2017-10-26 06:00
Members of the Blaahs Society with Mayor Patricial De Lille at the hand over of a motorised wheelchair to Thozi Mciki at the City of Cape Town building in foreshore. Mciki’s sister is on the extreme leftPHOTOs: cOCT

Members of the Blaahs Society with Mayor Patricial De Lille at the hand over of a motorised wheelchair to Thozi Mciki at the City of Cape Town building in foreshore. Mciki’s sister is on the extreme leftPHOTOs: cOCT

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‘My life has changed now ... I am seeing places I have not seen before,”

Thozi Mciki uttered these words upon receiving a brand new motorised wheelchair about a fortnight ago.

Mciki,51, was diagnosed with Fibrodysplasie Ossifican Progressiva (FOP) in 1973 - this is a rare condition which results in the progressive hardening of muscle into bone.

His whole skeleton is affected.

This relentless process causes people with FOP to develop difficulties with movement, which eventually cause complete immobilisation of all joints.

“This literally turns people into statues. This is severely debilitating and there is no cure. Thozi has been completely immobile since early adulthood and is the eldest known surviving FOP patient in South Africa,” said Professor Chris Scott who heads UCT’s Rheumatology Department in Pediatrics and Child Health.

Scott is also a board member of the Thozamile Mciki Trust which was formed to help Thozi get a wheel chair but will also focus on patients of similar condition.

Thozamile Trust joined hands with Blaahs Society in a fundraising exercise to purchase the HS7200B motorised wheelchair at a cost of R120,000.

Blaahs public relations officer, Mbulelo Mpofu said after the society went around scouting for new wheels for Mciki, they found a company in Epping, where they purchased the wheelchair from.

“Thozi is a loyal member of Blaahs, so we put down a deposit of R30,000 towards the wheelchair and the rest was gained through our fundraising efforts,” said Mpofu.

He said their main aim is to focus on all FOP patients to get their mobility back and to be happy like any other people.

Mayor of Cape Town Patricia De Lille was also touched by Mciki’s story and donated R30, 000 to the trust.

Mayoral spokesperson Zara Nicholsonsaid De Lille was inspired by Mciki’s attitude, who despite his condition, was a “hopeful and positive person.”

“The mayor hands out hundreds of wheel chairs to the disabled people to alleviate their plight and when she heard of Mciki’s story, she said she was inspired because he never let his condition put him down,” said Nicholson. Mciki thanked all those who contributed to the the trust.

He mentioned Kelly du Plessis who runs the Rare Diseases South Africa - a registered Non-Profit Organization assisting all patients affected by rare diseases to access life-saving treatment and supportive care for improved quality of life.

“Kelly and Prof Scott have been the pillars of my strength and I hope that this trust will grow and help others in similar situation,” said Mciki. A happy Mciki revealed that he was now “roaming around Gugulethu like nobody’s business.” “I am seeing places I have not seen before,” he enthused.

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