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Ingrid Schoeman

I developed drug-resistant TB while working as a dietitian in a public hospital in the Eastern Cape, South Africa. The TB treatment side effects caused liver failure and I was in a coma. TB changed my life and today I am a passionate TB advocate.
I was hospitalised for 75 days. During this time, I developed liver failure and survived a coma. Dr Stickells and the nursing staff who treated me were very kind to me. I was very weak and had little energy at the time of discharge and was struggling to cope with the injection and the pills that caused diarrhoea and vomiting. It made me think – how do the poor and marginalised get through this?
I cannot imagine doing it alone without support from family and friends.
After being discharged from hospital I started working as a research assistant for Liana Steenkamp, an inspiring researcher that really opened a new world to me work-wise.
My friends helped me with exercise in the pool and at the gym. I was blessed with lots of love and care from my family and friends. It felt like I was getting a new start, it felt good to enjoy things again and be excited about life!
After two years on treatment I am now fully recovered.
I ran a half marathon recently and am loving being fit. I think after having TB I appreciate having energy much more!
TB has humbled as well as enriched me as a person, teaching me how much we have to be thankful for – health, family, friends, a job. God is really good to us.
I am now part of TB Proof, an organisation that advocates for improved detection and treatment of TB, as well as breaking down the stigma attached to having TB
There is so much information that still needs to get out to communities and I hope I can be part of the team that are passionate about improving the outcomes for patients with TB in South Africa.
(Credit: Médecins Sans Frontières)

Other Members

Bart Willems

In 2012, I swam four and a half laps of the Long Street pool in Cape Town entirely under water. When I surfaced, I covered a distance of 114 m and have broken the South African freediving record. This win was made extra special by the fact that I recovered from TB five years earlier.

Andrea von Delft

As a physiotherapist, I knew about TB, but not enough. I was generally thinking, “it’s out there.” It wasn’t until my husband, a medical doctor, was diagnosed with TB, that I realise that anyone can get TB and that health workers are particular at risk of contracting TB.

Dalene von Delft

I was diagnosed with MDR-TB on Christmas Eve of 2010. What followed was a harrowing 19 months of treatment, during which I had to make some potentially life-threatening decisions in an attempt to preserve my hearing and career. I had optimal access to all forms of care, but the vast majority of other patients are not nearly as lucky. I became a very motivated TB patient/physician advocate, campaigning for more effective, safer and equitable treatment options on local and global platforms.

Phumeza Tisile

I am a 30-year-old (2020) and live in Cape Town. In 2010, I was diagnosed with tuberculosis and was forced to stop my studies at Cape Peninsula University of Technology to go for treatment. Despite this my condition did not improve, and after about five months of treatment, first for “normal” TB and then for multidrug-resistant TB (MDR-TB), I was
finally diagnosed with extensively drug-resistant TB (XDR-TB), the deadliest form of the disease