April 24, 2016

The orphan who found a family among peers

Written by John Breunig

This post originally appeared on the Stamford Advocate.

As she reviews her many stops around the globe, Loyce Maturu verbally stamps each one with the phrase “I got to share my story.”

Her story has been a companion as she has traveled from her native Zimbabwe to Brussels, Tokyo, China, Barcelona and elsewhere. She is now bringing it to the United States for the first time, having marked her 24th birthday March 11 in Miami.

I knew enough about her story that I reflexively moved a box of tissues to the table in my office before she arrived for an interview Tuesday. By the time she was 10, her father had died in an accident and she’d lost her mother and brother to HIV and tuberculosis. When she was 12, an aunt took her to a clinic because she kept coughing and losing weight and could not walk on her own. There, she was treated for HIV for the first time, along with TB. Before and after her diagnosis she was shuttled from relative to relative.

That’s the short version.

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