Extraordinary People

2013 - My Face Is Eating Me Alive

To view this page ensure that Adobe Flash Player version 10.1.0 or greater is installed.

Eight years ago, when Tare was 13 years old, she had a toothache. Her mum Thandiwe told her not to worry and that it would go away. Like many of Zimbabwe’s poor, she could not afford dental treatment. Unfortunately, Tare’s toothache did not go away, but instead developed into an aggressive swelling on her upper left jaw.

Thandiwe spent three years travelling her country in search of a doctor able to stop the growth that was slowly taking over her daughter’s face, but with no success. The tumour continued to grow until it began to close Tare’s airways and push her jaw out of her mouth.

In the UK, Tare’s medical condition would require full-time hospitalisation, but with no free health care in Zimbabwe, Thandiwe and Tare were reliant on charity. Help eventually arrived from two organisations, Saving Faces and Girl Child Network Worldwide. A UK surgeon became involved, and finally Thandiwe and Tare could begin to hope.

This heartwarming film follows Thandiwe and Tare through the highs and lows of her treatment. It is a remarkable story of Tare’s courage and will to survive, her mother’s undying love as she becomes a full-time carer and the dedication of the surgeon who is willing to operate for free.

Next

Previous

All episodes 

Comments (80)

  • shirley

    2 months ago

    shirley

    Please Please give us an update on this young lady both her and her mother are truly courageous women..

  • Graham

    7 months ago

    Graham

    Absolutely Heart BREAKING to see what Tare and her Mum had to go through. When I think of the VAST amount of money wasted by HMG on Wars and Stupid Projects, (Heck many of our MPs Fiddle More Expenses every year than what Tare's treatment cost), I'd much rather see an "Emergency Fund" available for Humanitarian Solutions, so that people in Tare's position didn't have to wait YEARS with a Worsening Condition, while friends, family and charities raised the money required. I thought Tare's Mum looked TWENTY YEARS OLDER by the end of the programme, no doubt due to the stress and worry she had endured. I think what frightened me the most was by HOW MUCH Tare's Tumour had re-grown between her leaving for home and arriving back in Zimbabwe. From the closing minutes of the programme I can only assume that after all that suffering, Tare's Tumour finally won, and killed her.

  • maggie

    7 months ago

    maggie

    Just saw the programme about this brave girl - and she has such a gentle spirit. I really can't stop thinking about her ordeal and the grace and dignity she has displayed, I think I'll try to find out how to donate something to help her with further reconstruction, and will ask my friends also, it won't be mush, but little and often, as I am a pensioner. God bless her and her wonderful. supportive family, I hope her future is as bright as her spirit.

  • karen

    8 months ago

    karen

    It is poor of Channel 5 to show this documentary without offering an update. Tare is a beautiful, inspiring, courageous girl - we would all like to know if the tumour has re-grown or if she is now able to have reconstructive surgery. How can we donate?

  • ash

    9 months ago

    ash

    im zimbabwen were not poor every one thinks every part on africa is poor BUT IS NOT

  • This comment was removed by a moderator

  • ANGELA WALLACE

    10 months ago

    ANGELA WALLACE

    wishing you well tares! a brave and courageous young woman good luck to you and all your family xxx

  • Kath

    10 months ago

    Kath

    I found this on catchup, how dreadful for young Tare.. I have donated through the fundme website, please give what you can no matter how small.. it's now at £17k, I used this link which takes you directly to her page.. http://www.justgiving.com/Taremedzwa

  • Lisa

    10 months ago

    Lisa

    This was a year ago, the last part of this was shot, yes? Has she returned to London for the reconstructive surgery? Or will she be soon? Or are they trying to raise the funds for this stage? Viewers would really like an update on what the status is today

  • Tej

    10 months ago

    Tej

    The last clip shown was from 2012....is there any update on Tara a year later? I would love to know how this sweet young woman is doing. Did she get reconstructive surgery? Did the tumor stop growing/coming back. Channel 5 please give us an update!! My thoughts and prayers are with Tara and her family.

  • SC

    10 months ago

    SC

    I had the pleasure of meeting this brave and courage lady with her mum and I was truly humbled and honoured to have met them. Please give your generous support. Thanks to Channel 5 too for all their support and effort in getting this documentary together. SC

  • Coral Meek

    10 months ago

    Coral Meek

    coral. Well im not religous but i can tell you i have everything crossed for this beautiful young girl i cannot believe how brave and resilliant she is and her mum is so unbelievebly strong, Please give us an update on Tare she has touched my heart xxxx

  • Colleen

    10 months ago

    Colleen

    Tara, your life and not only touched me but has touched thousands of others too, gbodbless you and your wonderful courageous mother.

  • Joe

    10 months ago

    Joe

    DONATE HERE http://www.savingfaces.co.uk/index.php/news-mainmenu-35/367-tare.html

  • Mary

    10 months ago

    Mary

    Could I please have Tare's details? I would like to send my donation directly to her.

  • Jennifer Palm

    10 months ago

    Jennifer Palm

    This is a really touching problem for Tare and her family. I really admire her mother who is so positive. I am a Ghanaiain woman here in Yate. I would like like to help in a small way.

  • Emma

    10 months ago

    Emma

    http://www.justgiving.com/Taremedzwa looks like many people reached for their pockets last night but she still needs a bit more!

  • jole0510

    10 months ago

    jole0510

    How humbling was that!!!! I sincerely hope, as it seems most of the other veiwers do, that the film makers decide to do a follow up programme on Tares' progress. God bless her and her family.

  • Sigcino Victus Chiliza

    10 months ago

    Sigcino Victus Chiliza

    God less this beautiful girl. What should I do to help her? What is the name of Charity Organisation?

  • richard mupunga

    10 months ago

    richard mupunga

    really touching

  • Giane-Luci

    10 months ago

    Giane-Luci

    What a corageous young woman. She is so strong going through so much pain. She's got a wonderful mother. I would like to donate. How can I?

  • Lion King

    10 months ago

    Lion King

    Where to donate if you can . LEts help this brave girl :) http://www.savingfaces.co.uk/index.php/news-mainmenu-35/367-tare.html

  • Elaine

    10 months ago

    Elaine

    Extraordinary people must be one of the most inspirational programmes on TV. I was truly touched by Tara's story. The courage, hope and dreams of a young woman despite her condition was remarkable. Her mothers love, strength, energy and commitment was amazing. We all can learn a lot from Tara and her mother. I wish them all the best!!

  • Simon

    10 months ago

    Simon

    This has really moved me to want to help ...

  • Ruth

    10 months ago

    Ruth

    What a wonderful and courage mother and daughter. God Bless you both. Sending you loads of Hugs and Kisses

  • Jackie Miller

    10 months ago

    Jackie Miller

    Tare may God bless you and your family

  • Doug

    10 months ago

    Doug

    Is their an update on Tare's condition as the programme is about a year old.

  • bisibo

    10 months ago

    bisibo

    what a kind doctor, some people realy are angels. people who donate,tare n mother ,God bless you. so brave

  • barry

    10 months ago

    barry

    This page will tell you you how she is getting on. http://bulawayo24.com/index-id-news-sc-press+release-byo-31783.html She She has since returned to school to complete her "A" level studies. She resumed her studies in April with a local private college, where she did well in the progress tests. She later went back to her boarding school, St. David's Bonda Mission where she wrote and passed her Maths, Biology and Chemistry A level exams.

  • keta

    10 months ago

    keta

    how is she doing now ?

  • Eleanor Thomas

    10 months ago

    Eleanor Thomas

    I think this is the place to donate http://www.savingfaces.co.uk/index.php/news-mainmenu-35/367-tare.html

  • Ellie Thomas

    10 months ago

    Ellie Thomas

    I think this is the right place to donate http://www.savingfaces.co.uk/index.php/news-mainmenu-35/367-tare.html

  • Aileen

    10 months ago

    Aileen

    I've never been more gripped by a TV documentary. Such a loving mother and child. PLEASE, let us know Tare's progress. Bless her and her dear mother.

  • Georgie Austin

    10 months ago

    Georgie Austin

    I missed,the very end .Does she recover?.What a,brilliant,charty...I,would,like to,donate.

  • This comment was removed by a moderator

  • Ola

    10 months ago

    Ola

    i would really like an update on Tare's health and would like to reach out to her and her family directly. please let me know how i can reach her directly. I was so touched by her story, i just had to search for her. She's incredibly strong and Her Mum is a resilient Women. God bless Her and heal her completely, and bring joy to her Family in Jesus name. Amen

  • Joe

    10 months ago

    Joe

    http://www.savingfaces.co.uk/index.php/news-mainmenu-35/367-tare.html

  • hilt

    10 months ago

    hilt

    can someone pls just link a direct page where we can donate and/or find out latest?

  • This comment was removed by a moderator

  • Samantha

    10 months ago

    Samantha

    God Bless Tare and her mother, both very courageous women. I was really humbled by watching this programme, to see how strong Tare was in such desperate situation of having such acute medical needs, and no funding for surgery. I will be making donations to both charities. How is Tare now? I pray that she is doing well, best wishes Tare. xxx

  • Sally

    10 months ago

    Sally

    How can we find out how Tari and her family are now? How can we help with her medical treatment? What a beautiful brave young woman, god bless her.

  • Joe

    10 months ago

    Joe

    http://www.savingfaces.co.uk/index.php/news-mainmenu-35/367-tare.html Go to this website to donate

  • barry

    10 months ago

    barry

    Donation site http://www.savingfaces.co.uk/index.php/events.html

  • Heather

    10 months ago

    Heather

    There is a link to saving faces website up the top of this page under related links - you can donate specifically for Tare on this page guys if you are looking for it

  • Ola

    10 months ago

    Ola

    i would really like an update on Tare's health and would like to reach out to her and her family directly. please let me know how i can reach her directly. I was so touched by her story, i just had to search for her. She's incredibly strong and Her Mum is a resilient Women. God bless Her and heal her completely, and bring joy to her Family in Jesus name. Amen

  • This comment was removed by a moderator

  • Martine

    10 months ago

    Martine

    How do we help this very courageous young lady & in turn support the fantastic mother she had?

  • jerome

    10 months ago

    jerome

    i wish you a succesful recovery, i was very moved by how well you have coped. i would like to help, where can you donate?

  • Catherine

    10 months ago

    Catherine

    Oh bless her, the poor child. Poor, poor child... It's truly heartbreaking. She is an inspiration, so strong to have gone through all she has and will continue to go through. Her tumor, seeing her like that, what she has gone through, it breaks my heart. I can, in a small way relate. I too had 2 brain tumors, bone tumors not unlike Tare's. My first one was removed. Then it grew back again. So they had to remove a large part of my skull the second time. I have always thanked God for my life, And I always will. When I saw this poor child's story before. I thank God even more, because I know how lucky I am. And I will pray that she is also blessed, in that, the second tumor that has been removed stays away. Mine has, and though life threatening, I survived an ordeal that I wouldn't wish on anyone, and although I have them growing in the roof of my mouth, they are not life threatening as Tare's are now. Not by any means. It they grow like the brain tumors, then yes, they will be life threatening again. One was removed, but it grew back within weeks. This one we are leaving in the hope it will stop growing. They can't keep removing them, as they have said of Tare's...we would end up with no bone in the face/head. (I think ours are similar in that, they tend to grow above the neck...jaw, like Tare's, and anywhere on the face/head... So I pray for her that it never grows back. I pray for her mother and her mother's strength and her faith in God. I pray for her family and friends...mostly, I pray for the child. I pray for all the Dr's involved and I pray that they will stop this tumor in its tracks with the drugs they are using on her... Prayers work people, they really do. She believes it her mother believes it, and all her family. And I believe it too... I think we all need to have hope, take away my faith, you take away my hope...I think her mother is the same...she needs that hope. I'll never stop praying her her...I will never forget this child...ever. I hope for those of you who believe, you will continue to pray for her too.

  • Rolina Faria

    10 months ago

    Rolina Faria

    Rolina How can I donate? How is Tare now? May the Lord Jesus bless her and her Mother and family

  • This comment was removed by a moderator

  • Kim

    10 months ago

    Kim

    You can donate for Tare at the saving faces website.

  • Jess

    10 months ago

    Jess

    Would really like yo know whats happened since this documentary please

  • Anita

    10 months ago

    Anita

    I send my love to Tare and her wonderful Mum. really would love to help and know how she is doing aswell

  • Bev

    10 months ago

    Bev

    How can we help please

  • bridget

    10 months ago

    bridget

    Let's help this little girl, she has really suffered. God be with her and her family

  • barry

    10 months ago

    barry

    her full name Taremeredzwa Nomatter Mapungwana

  • Camilla

    10 months ago

    Camilla

    What a wonderful and courage mother and daughter. God Bless you both. How can we donate to help them?

  • Anita

    10 months ago

    Anita

    I really would like to help, how can I donate?

  • hilt

    10 months ago

    hilt

    what is her full name please?!

  • Adoniah  Nyambi

    10 months ago

    Adoniah Nyambi

    The Love of God was expressed through the hearts and souls of those generous people who gave money for the operation to happen. May the Lord bless their and give them eternal life. My tears were running down as I watched her going through this ordeal.

  • Katy

    10 months ago

    Katy

    How is Tare doing now? Would really like to hear... What a brave young lady she is and what an inspiration her wonderful mother is...

  • AW

    10 months ago

    AW

    What is the link to her justgiving page? How is she now??

  • Gary

    10 months ago

    Gary

    Hoe can I donate to Tare's medical treatment?

  • bisibo

    10 months ago

    bisibo

    how touching, please let people know the outcome, how can we donate, God bless you tare !

  • Vanessa

    10 months ago

    Vanessa

    How can we donate and why did channel 5 leave the story open? Has nothing happened since 2012 and did channel 5 do anything to help or merely cash the check made from the documentary? Could some one please pass on information on how to make donations and tell us information on her current situation.

  • Andrew Henson

    10 months ago

    Andrew Henson

    What is the link to the donation page. Can I suggest to setup an address that will accept bitcoin donations aswell.

  • Mandie Elson

    10 months ago

    Mandie Elson

    How can we help her directly please

  • A W

    10 months ago

    A W

    What is her justgiving page link? How is she now??

  • Dave

    10 months ago

    Dave

    Where can you make a donation to help with the fees

  • Beth

    10 months ago

    Beth

    Amazed. I literally cannot express how strong tare and her family are. Driven me to opt for the medical career...I just hate knowing there are footballers who are brainless and worthless earning more than 10 grand in a week...what a deserving cause it could go for!

  • Gary

    10 months ago

    Gary

    How can I donate to Tare's treatment?

  • leah

    10 months ago

    leah

    Hi i would really like an update of her present state of health this programme has really touched me so i would love to find out if shes okay!!

  • Rosalind Mitcham

    10 months ago

    Rosalind Mitcham

    How can I help please let me know.

  • Dee

    10 months ago

    Dee

    Please, please help this unfortunate girl with this awful tumour. Donate to her just giving page.

  • Suzanne

    10 months ago

    Suzanne

    This poor girl has gone through so much but is still so positive. God bless her and her family.

  • Beki

    10 months ago

    Beki

    Bless this child and familys strength and courage. How can we donate to help her?

  • AlanThomas1

    10 months ago

    AlanThomas1

    Wow

  • Chloe

    10 months ago

    Chloe

    Whats the rare thing she got?

  • ellen

    11 months ago

    ellen

    Hello

Blank_avatar