A salsa dancer. A retired teacher. A community health worker.
A TV sports producer. A hotel manager. A doctor.
What do all of these people have in common?
They are all survivors of tuberculosis (TB), working to educate others by telling their stories.
We are proud to share these stories below.
Kelly is a physician and has treated patients with TB. Being a TB patient, however, was new territory for him. One of the most difficult parts of the process was the impact on his family, friends and patients, who were forced to endure months of treatment due to their contact with him. He now brings a new understanding to his practice and works tirelessly to educate others, especially those in the healthcare community.
Khayr is a North Dakota resident and a successful hotel manager. He spent time living in Somalia as a college student, where he likely contracted multidrug-resistant (MDR) TB. Khayr was told that his chance of survival was 50%. After a long battle, he recovered and now works with We are TB, the survivor advocacy organization.
Shaka teaches and performs as a salsa dancer. His passion has taken him around the world. When he was diagnosed, he learned that he had disseminated TB, or TB that had spread from his lungs to other parts of his body. After a long, harsh treatment, Shaka recovered and now works to educate others about this deadly disease.
Kate works in television sports journalism. Pregnant with her second child at the time of her TB diagnosis, Kate spent three months hospitalized away from friends and family. Doctors were unable to tell her whether the strong antibiotics used to treat the TB would have an effect on the developing fetus. Kate, fortunately, went on to deliver a healthy baby and has served as an advocate for TB survivors ever since.
Nicole is a painter and former art teacher. She found inspiration in the mountains of North Carolina where she once lived. As a TB patient, the isolation from her loved ones was particularly challenging. Nicole was forced to live by herself for six months until she was declared to be no longer contagious. After her recovery, Nicole found comfort in the community of TB survivors and continues to speak out about the disease.
Taylor is a community health worker. Originally from the Philippines, Taylor had latent tuberculosis (LTBI) and then contracted HIV. This caused her LTBI to become active, and she became very sick. After undergoing many months of treatment, Taylor recovered from TB and now works to educate others, particularly those in the LGBTQ community.