I am Saurabh Rane, a survivor of a highly resistant form of TB. I was like any of you – focused, determined and ambitious – until TB happened to me. I was a 21-year-old doctor and fitness enthusiast, when I was infected by TB. “A Marathon to Defeat TB” is a film chronicling my struggles and my fight with Drug Resistant Tuberculosis (DR-TB). The film is aimed at inspiring those who are affected by India’s severest health crisis, reducing the stigma and helping address key issues in battling TB.
Tuberculosis was not just a physical battle – it was also a long mental and emotional struggle. I was misdiagnosed, incorrectly treated and had very little chances of survival. The toxic drugs made me partially blind, deprived me of my sense of touch and also gave me thyroid disorders. I even lost my hearing, partially. And then there was depression and frustration!
When I looked around for inspiration or hope, I found none. Survivors of tuberculosis seemed shrouded in silence. That’s why I wanted to narrate my story. I fought TB successfully, and ran a half-marathon when I was still being treated. After being cured, I also undertook one of India’s most challenging treks. I undertook the trek to prove that anything and everything is possible for a TB survivor. I didn’t let TB defeat me – and neither should you!
Tuberculosis is India’s severest health crisis. It affects many of us. Most Indian families have someone, who has been affected by TB. It’s airborne, and hence, all of us are vulnerable. The only way to fight is to empower yourself with knowledge and awareness regarding the disease – and then seek early diagnosis and treatment.
This film is part of a campaign called “Survivors Against TB”. This is a community-led movement, aimed at strengthening India’s fight against TB. The group includes me and numerous other TB survivors, who both understand and have lived the experience of surviving TB in its severest forms.
You can join our fight against TB by signing the petition here.
Also, do spread the film and our message across social media!