TB Personal Stories

Tenzin's Story
Kelcie's Story
The Importance of Latent TB Infection Testing and Treatment
TB Survivors Messages to TB Patients
Survivors First Thoughts When Diagnosed with TB

TB is still a life-threatening problem in this country. TB knows no borders, and people here in the United States are suffering from TB. Anyone can get TB. These stories highlight the personal experiences of several people who were diagnosed and treated for TB disease, as well as the work of TB control professionals.

Kristi was surprised when she found out that the cause of her eye pain was TB uveitis.  Although she was familiar with TB, she never knew that it could be anywhere in the body, not just the lungs. Video


Tenzin’s treatment for multi-drug resistant TB lasted for over 2 years. With the help of his local and state TB programs, Tenzin began the long and challenging treatment process. Video

Laura speaks Spanish and English. She wanted to share her story in both languages to further expand the reach of her message and increase the chances of reaching more people to raise awareness about TB. Video


As someone who was tested and treated for latent TB infection, Kelcie wants to encourage others to do the same. Video

Like many people, Mildred thought TB could only affect the lungs. She was surprised when she was diagnosed with TB in her epiglottis. With support from her family and nurses from the health department, she completed treatment. Video


Once Shaka was diagnosed with TB, he was relieved to finally know what was making him sick. Visits from friends and family helped him through a difficult treatment process. Now Shaka is back to doing what he loves – teaching and performing salsa. Video

As both a TB patient, and a physician who cares for TB patients, Dr. Holland knows the impact TB has on patients’ lives. He wants to increase TB awareness among his health care provider colleagues. Video

Kim Do is a public health professional with 20 years of experience working in TB. He works to build trust with TB patients and helps them to complete treatment. Video


Emily’s TB was difficult to diagnose. It was not until doctors tested fluid between her heart and lungs that she learned she had TB. After completing treatment, she now works in health care, where she uses her story to connect with and help patients. Video


Jerry faced many barriers when he was diagnosed with TB disease. He would have never guessed how much his life would turn around because of TB. Jerry says, “TB actually saved my life, it really did.” Video

Kate became very sick while pregnant with her second child. She was diagnosed with TB and spent more than two months in the hospital. One of her biggest worries during treatment was how the TB medicines would affect her baby. Video

Nauman’s treatment for drug-resistant TB lasted for a year and a half. Side effects from the medications and the length of treatment made completing treatment difficult. Video technology helped make his treatment much more convenient. Video

Nicole was diagnosed with TB shortly after moving to another state. Being away from friends and family, the nurses from the health department gave her much needed support. Video


Thomas wasn’t sure what was going to happen when he was diagnosed with TB. He hopes his story will encourage TB patients and health care providers to talk about what to expect during treatment. He also hopes to raise awareness about how TB is spread, and reduce TB-related stigma. Video

Deo was born in Bhutan and worked as a medical professional before moving to the United States. A health screening when he arrived in the country revealed he had latent TB infection. Video

Natalie contracted multidrug-resistant tuberculosis (MDR TB) while volunteering as a physical therapist in South Africa. She was treated for 2 years before finally being cured of the disease.

Esteban and Danielle adopted two girls from Ethiopia, one of whom was found to have multidrug-resistant TB. With the help of a TB nurse, their daughter received the life-saving treatment she needed.

In 2003, Rick and Francene adopted a 13-month-old boy from Russia. Shortly after returning to the United States, they learned he had TB.

Kenni, a mother of two young daughters, became very sick in 2012 with a respiratory illness. After numerous misdiagnoses, she finally learned she had TB.

Rosalie’s daughter Faith was first diagnosed with TB at the age of 5, although Rosalie didn’t understand the diagnosis. Later, after years of poor health, Faith was diagnosed again with TB when she was 12.

Liliana was diagnosed with multidrug-resistant (MDR) tuberculosis (TB) in 2009. She does not recall ever being exposed to anyone with TB disease as a child or as an adult.

When Santos’s infant son became ill with TB meningitis, he learned that he himself had latent TB infection. He started but didn’t finish treatment. Years later, he came down with TB disease. Video

At age 18 Mabruka was diagnosed with TB. After successfully completing treatment for TB, she now serves a peer counselor, educating others about TB.

When Sarah, a high school student, found an odd lump on her neck in October 2011, she never imagined it could be TB. She was referred to a surgeon who removed the lump, but didn’t diagnosis it at the time as TB.

Martha is a nurse. In October 2010, she was diagnosed with TB, and later she learned she had multidrug-resistant TB (MDR TB).

Tri found out he had TB shortly after beginning college. After 9 months of treatment for TB disease, Tri is back doing what he loves-playing basketball. Video

Page last reviewed: December 12, 2014