My name is Gibson, I am 16 years old and I live in Epworth, a small town just outside the capital city of Zimbabwe. I was diagnosed with TB when I was 14 years old after many months of continuous coughing. My family tried everything to help me. My brothers took me to Harare, where my aunt lives so I could get medical help in the city. My health did not get any better and my aunt did not know what else to do, so she brought me here to live with my grandmother - a prayerful woman.
My grandmother took me to one of the MSF clinics, here in Epworth to get help. She had heard from her neighbors that the people from MSF were miracle workers. The MSF doctors screened me for TB and the results came out positive. I went for what seemed like several months on the treatment but I was not getting any better. We went back to the MSF clinic and they told me that the TB in my body was very powerful and it needed stronger medicine. The MSF nurse explained to me that I had what they call multidrug-resistant tuberculosis - MDR-TB. My grandmother and I had never heard of these words before but we trusted MSF. I started my MDR-TB treatment on 13 July last year.
I won’t be going to school until March of 2014, when I complete my treatment …but when I grow up I want to be a big time lawyer working in America. I want to send my grandmother a lot of money so she can buy herself lovely things. She is really there for me and urges me to take my medication even though I really hate how it makes me feel sometimes. The (MDR-TB) drugs take away my appetite and make me want to vomit. I love sadza and chicken, but I can’t remember the last time I enjoyed that meal. I know I have to take the medicine everyday to get well, and I have hope I will completely recover.
The support from MSF is the gift of healing my grandmother had prayed for. MDR-TB treatment is not an easy journey, and I miss playing soccer with my friends, but I would like to encourage all of the young guys like me who are tormented by this disease to remain strong until the very end. We are the future generation so we cannot give up.