MY STORY: How I Battled XDR Tuberculosis & Ran 10 Km in 57 Minutes While on Medicines


In the MY STORY section, we present some of the most compelling and pertinent stories and experiences shared with us by our readers. Do you have something to share? Write to us: [email protected] with “MY STORY” in the subject line.

24-year-old Saurabh Rane finished a 10 km run in Mumbai in 57 mins. This was while he was taking medicines for extensively drug-resistant Tuberculosis – a condition that made his body resistant to about eight of 13 drugs meant to treat TB. 
used to work from 9:00 am to 4:00 pm at the hospital during my internship at DY Patil Medical College, in the Department of Physiotherapy. This was followed by observership at a clinic in the evening and another one at night. I was giving my best and working over-time in hospitals, clinics and libraries, hoping to stand out and achieve my goals.

Amidst all this, I ensured that I was taking care of my health as well. I used to spend half of my lunch break in the gym nearby, for a quick workout session. I weighed 66 kg, had 15% body fat, and maintained my health well.

But due to exposure in certain wards, I fell sick and was later diagnosed with Tuberculosis. After losing 16 kg in less than a month, fighting fever and cough, and reaching a point where half my lung had restricted entry of air, I resumed working in two months. But I had a relapse after six months due to wrong diagnosis and treatment. This time, the other half of my lung was compromised. I was diagnosed as a border-line XDR TB patient. XDR stands for extensively drug-resistant, which meant that my body could respond to only four drugs. With many medical complications, my condition involved 24 months of extensive treatment. I was taking 20 tablets every day and had to go through six months of daily injections.

There were multiple occasions when I felt like ending it all, but I had immense support from my family, friends and doctors who gave me the courage to fight.

TheBetterIndia (37)

Left to right – Before diagnosis, after diagnosis and during treatment, post treatment completion

I used to wonder about people who do not have a similar support system or inspiration to fight this dreadful condition. And this was when I decided to do things that seemed impossible to others, to encourage and motivate others living like me. It started with my best friend Neha telling me to participate in a 10km run with her. It seemed impossible in the beginning. But with proper training and determination, I knew I would be able to do it. Periodization, rest and diet, with no hindrance in medication, was the key to pulling it off. I used a combination of strength training with cardio, and trained for over 40 days, with consecutive rest for a few days to avoid aggravating my condition.

I finally ran the race on January 3, 2016, in Mumbai, while I was on active medication. I finished it in 57 minutes, with no medical assistance required at any point.

All the pain had vanished when I reached the finish line. I simply stretched out and walked with the others who had finished before and with me. I was one of them and I felt normal. It was priceless to achieve something that I once considered impossible. Just before I began the training, I had recovered from partial blindness, caused as a side effect of heavy medication. There were several other complications that I had to face in the past years, but now I know that they only made me stronger.

I continued training and could finish the 10 km race in 45 minutes on February 20. I will attempt a difficult high altitude trek in August to  inspire more and more people to fight this disease.

– Saurabh Rane

Like this story? Have something to share? Email: [email protected], or join us on Facebook and Twitter (@thebetterindia). To get positive news on WhatsApp, just send ‘Start’ to 090 2900 3600 via WhatsApp.

Like us to get inspiring news daily


Subscribe for awesome videos