ZIMBABWEAN sprinter, Gabriel Mvumvure’s efforts to raise funds for him to undergo a kidney transplant received a major boost after his former college in the United States; Louisiana State University (LSU) announced that it would be partnering him in his fundraising efforts. BY DANIEL NHAKANISO
The 28-year-old star, who represented Zimbabwe at the Olympic Games in Rio de Janeiro early this year, announced early this week that he requires $21 000 to undergo a kidney transplant in the US.
Mvumvure was first diagnosed with congestive heart failure, hypertension and chronic kidney disease in February last year but managed to recover and qualify for the 2016 IAAF World Indoor Championships and the Rio Olympic Games.
The former Churchill High School student was then recently diagnosed with kidney failure after returning from the Rio Olympics due to chronic long-term high blood pressure.
Having initially set up an online campaign to raise funds for the enormous medical bill on GoFundMe on Tuesday, Mvumvure this week announced that his former university, LSU had taken over the fundraising efforts by establishing a fund under his name.
“Thank so you so much social media family for your support over the past couple of days!! I’m so humbled. May God bless you!! I have now partnered with my alma mater LSU in this task to raise the money,” Mvumvure said in a post on his Instagram page on Thursday.
“My GoFundMe page will no longer be active, so I’m so grateful to my coach, Dennis Shaver, LSU staff that worked tirelessly to set this up for me and LSU for allowing me to use their platform. Thank you! Forward and onward we march!”
In a statement on their website, LSU called on well-wishers to make donations through the Tiger Athletic Foundation’s official website.
“LSU Athletics is calling on fans far and wide to help one of their own, as the Tiger Athletic Foundation has established the Gabriel Mvumvure Fund to assist LSU’s former NCAA Champion sprinter in his fight with kidney failure with all contributions going toward his future transplant and recovery,” LSU said.
“Donations to the Gabriel Mvumvure Fund are now being accepted through the philanthropic page on Tiger Athletic Foundation’s official website at http://www.lsutaf.org.”
Mvumvure, a former African junior champion lined up for the LSU Tigers for four seasons between 2008 and 2011 on a track and field scholarship.
While studying international studies and political science in his time as a student, he helped the LSU Tigers continue their proud tradition of excellence on the track, while being crowned an SEC and NCAA champion in the 4×100-metre relay in his freshman season.
Mvumvure would go on to earn three All-America honours, as a member of LSU’s sprint relay team, while also starring in the 100-metre and 200-metre dashes in his four seasons in Baton Rouge from 2008 to 2011.