Lheyna Dulnuan Binlayan – Region I

I am Maria Elena Binlayan, 35 years old, and currently residing at Pinto, Alfonso Lista, Ifugao.

I finished BS Accountancy and Master’s in Business Administration major in Financial Management. I am a Multi- Drug Resistant Tuberculosis (MDRTB) survivor since April 2017.

When I was diagnosed with Tuberculosis, I initially had 4 months of DSTB treatment. Then, I was later diagnosed with MDRTB and started my treatment for it last August 2015 . At first, I searched on the internet about the possible diagnosis of my symptoms, and found the result of possibly having TB disease. I was convinced of having TB when we had an Annual Physical Exam or APE. My X-ray result was suggestive of PTB. I immediately consulted with a pulmonologist and was confirmed with TB through smear microscopy.

At that moment, I felt scared for my co-workers, friends, and family members. It was in my mind that I might had spread TB to them. I also feared for losing my job and that I might used up all my savings for my monthly rental fees. I also thought of how could I take the licensure examination because I was taking review sessions when I was diagnosed with TB disease. I realized that if only I didn’t ignore my cough for a long time, I might had early detection and treatment.

I was about to finish my treatment when I met CKAT, which is currently known as TBpeople Philippines. Because of the people I knew who were also on TB treatment, and because of the experiences I had before and during my TB treatment, I was pushed to join and get involved with the TB advocacy.

A person who has TB disease needs someone who can guide them or someone whom they can address their questions about the disease and be enlightened with it. I, myself, didn’t know that there is an access to free TB medicines. And if only my concerns were heard, I may have not suffer ringing in my ears up until now. I admit, I was still thankful, actually my co-PWTBs on treatment were thankful too, that there was a transportation allowance that time. It really was a big help because I stopped from working and I had no other source of income. I can say that I was still so blessed because as I conversed with other patients, their experiences were even worse than mine that even food was their main dilemma.

If we experience any symptoms, never hesitate to consult a doctor or go to the nearest health center for proper diagnosis. If there will come a point that we’ll be diagnosed with TB, never fear because this disease can be cured with the right and proper treatment. Yes, the journey may not be easy, and the treatment may take months or years. But if these will prolong our life and will protect our loved ones from getting infected, then all these are worth doing.

We are not alone in this journey. Many people are actually extending their help for this advocacy. Let’s stop the Spread of TB and we will start it from us.

Background of Lheyna Dulnuan Binlayan, TB Survivor of La Union

More videos of Lheyna:

Lheyna on ‘What is DSTB?’ Part 1

Lheyna on ‘What is DSTB?’ Part 2

Lheyna on ‘What is DSTB?’ Part 3

Lheyna on ‘What is DSTB?’ Part 4

Lheyna on ‘What is DSTB?’ Part 5

Lheyna on ‘What is DRTB?’

Lheyna on ‘What is ITR?’