Dear TB Photovoice Family,
We are so close! We are burning the midnight oil to bring the TB stories of over 25 people in the Puget Sound area to the public. Our video is ready to go, and we are putting the finishing touches on our TBVoicesProject.com website. A community exhibition featuring the messages and insights from our participants is being created and will be unveiled in mid-March.
A quote that continues to come to my mind that speaks to the importance of supporting persons impacted by TB, and confronting the TB stigma, is from Fatxi, a resident of Seattle.
In 2004, despite risk of infection, Fatxi, a young mother living in Kenya, took care of a family member who had TB. Everyone else in the family had abandoned her due to fear and the stigma of TB. Because of Fatxi's determination to support and care for this woman and despite being abandoned by the majority of her family, the woman was cured and regained her strength after a nine-month TB treatment. Fatxi believes education about TB and compassion are the keys to getting rid of the TB stigma.
In Fatxi's words:
If somebody is sick with TB and they know that other people despise or dislike them just because they are sick, they will be stressed. They will be depressed and the situation they have is going to be worse and worse.
One thing I really don’t understand is why people don't support others who are sick? We are all human beings, we are family, we are friends, we are community, we are neighbors. We need to support one another.
As we prepare to share the TB Voices Project with local, national, and global communities, we are mindful of how much time, energy, resources and passion go into the creation of a successful project. We are thankful for your support that allows us to continue amplifying the messages of our participants.
We will begin our countdown to the March 24 World TB Day starting on March 3. Please take some time to visit our TB Voices Project Facebook page to hear about our featured stories, events, and inspiring messages.
Here we come!
TB Photovoice Director
We have had the honor of hearing and documenting the stories of 26 people who have been impacted by TB in the Puget Sound region of Washington State. These stories inspire us to elevate their perspectives to the local and global community so that they are truly heard and understood.
Loc, an immigrant from Vietnam, shared his insight in the hopes that those people who are newly diagnosed with TB will not live in fear.
"At the time I heard I had TB, oh, I was very scared because my wife was pregnant and we have a 18 month old daughter. I didn’t want to spread my TB to my family and other people at work and school. But I learned that TB is not a disease you cannot cure, this one you can cure. Don’t be afraid. TB is not the end of your life. It is very, very easy now if you keep discipline with the medication and then you live your life with a healthy life, your health will be very strong. Don’t waste your time. Don't wait for treatment."
The TB Voices Project is providing a way for persons impacted by TB to tell their story. These realities are rarely heard and often disregarded, resulting in communities lacking the basic understanding of TB, which can lead to stigma, misdiagnosis and misinformation. In early 2014, we will be launching a website devoted exclusively to the TB Voices Project, as well as developing videos and exhibitions. For now, like our TB Voices Project Facebook page and read updates!
Our group in Kenya is closer to securing resources to move their project forward. Check out our Facebook page for updates.
It has always been the mission to TB Photovoice to bring the voices of people impacted by TB to a wider audience so that their perspectives are honored and action is taken to address their needs. Thank you for supporting us throughout the years and for helping our small but passionate organization do the work we truly believe in by your financial donation.
All the best to you in 2014!
TB Photovoice Project Director
We hope you have all had a relaxing and memorable summer with friends and family. We certainly have, but we have also been very busy with the TB Voices Project!
Since March 2013, we have been working hard to give the Snohomish and King County, Washington communities the opportunity to share their TB experiences. We have had participants from nearly every decade coming forward to share how they have been impacted by TB, some who have never spoken about their perspectives and true feelings about the experience. They have all stated that they hope that their story will give encouragement to those impacted by TB today, and it is our hope that TB Photovoice assists in making this happen. We are collecting these stories through video and audio recordings, and photos. We will utilize our website and community exhibitions, and health care provider presentations to highlight the themes of these narratives (in early 2014). The exhibitions and presentations will also share the perspectives of TB Photovoice projects from around the globe, so as to provide the local community with an understanding of how TB is impacting the world.
Here are a few quotes from two of our participants. Their pictures are attached:
"I had tuberculosis in 1993, when I was homeless. I had it full blown. They put me in quarantine on my birthday. That’s okay, I didn’t want to be around anybody on my birthday anyway. It was terrible. I wouldn’t wish that upon anybody. It was absolutely horrible. It was a bad case of affairs. I was even trying to hide from the Snohomish Health Department when they found me. I tried the program for a while and I just kept getting sicker and sicker, so I guess that was part of the course, so I went and hid from Snohomish County Health Department. Turns out, they saved my life." ---Lynda from Everett, WA
"The TB Voices Project has been a bittersweet experience. I learned more about my grandmother and have great respect for what she went through. As part of this process, I saw my grandfather in a new light. Before, I didn't really appreciate his struggle to raise four small children on his own. Knowing some of the facts has allowed me to adjust my attitude toward him --which had been pretty negative. Thanks for the opportunity to delve into my family's past and actually heal some hurts."----Joan from Lynnwood, WA (her grandmother died of TB in 1917)
Take a look at our redesigned website and perhaps you too can contribute a TB story of your own!
Our group in Kenya is moving along and this fall they intend to use our website to document their stories! Check out our Facebook page for updates!
Thank you for your continued support and compassion.