THE love affair between United States-based sprinter Gabriel Mvumvure and his fianceé Gabriella (not her real name) is the stuff of Romeo and Juliet but with a happy ending.
By Tinashe Kusema
They met back in 2006, bonded over their shared love for the track and similar birthdays, February 22.
And now almost a decade to the day, they met, the 29-year old Mvumvure is about to receive the ultimate gift of all – the gift of life – from his Zimbabwe- born fianceé.
“SHE IS A MATCH”, wrote Mvumvure on his Facebook timeline on September 29.
“My fiancé is a match for me and she will be donating her kidney. Surgery is at the end of October,” went on the message, which was accompanied by a video montage of the couple.
It’s been over two weeks since the couple received the good news and Mvumvure, who has been battling a kidney ailment for over year now, feels alive again.
“It’s all too surreal for me,” said the Olympian in an interview from his Washington base.
“It’s been over a year now since my kidneys failed, and there was a time when I thought dialysis was going to be my portion for the rest of my days on this earth.
“But God has answered my prayers and my fiancee, whose name I don’t want published, has proven to be a match.”
The initial diagnosis was that Mvumvure had at most five years to live.
However, with a kidney donor found all Mvumvure needs now is US$19 000 for the operation.
Thereafter the future is his for the taking.
His options are either returning to the track or pursuing a new career path in coaching.
Mvumvure’s fiancee received some hate mail after it was announced that she will be donating her kidney to the love of her life.
“I get it: people are afraid of things that they don’t understand and I have decided to neither report these abuses nor respond to them,” said Gabriella, a Zimbabwean based in the USA.
Her main concern now is Gabriel.
“We are focusing on raising money for the transplant right now. There will be no wedding or lobola just as yet since if Gabe doesn’t get this kidney transplant he won’t be alive.
“We need to raise US$19 000 in the next 12 days, and are appealing to all who will be able to help.”
As all this is playing Mvumvure looks to his partner with nothing but love and awe.
“I think the way things have worked out really show that she truly is my guardian angel.
“The way we met, the fact that we dated for so long, have so many common interests, the same birth date and now matching kidneys are all signs that she is the one.
“According to science, people who are not related have a less than 9 percent chance of having matching kidneys but here we are.
“I believe that God put her in my life for a reason, and not just for a kidney,” he said.