Three years after being diagnosed with tuberculosis, Miss South Africa 2018 Tamaryn Green has opened up about her battle with the illness and the decision to hide it from some family members in fear of being isolated.
Tamaryn announced on Thursday that she would be focusing on the condition during her reign in an effort to break stigmas around it.
She was officially diagnosed with TB in June 2015 while still a student, and started treatment immediately.
In her second month of treatment Tamaryn became so ill she had move back home from varsity to recover.
“I could no longer handle the discomfort of sitting through lectures. I then spoke to my lecturer who immediately got me help from a specialist doctor at Groote Schuur. The university was very supportive throughout the process and offered counseling. My treatment continued until I developed a hepatitis secondary to the medication. This was when it got really bad. I felt ill every day for a month and I deferred my exams and moved back home.”
She changed medication and was eventually cured but said the incident was more traumatic than she ever allowed herself to admit.
“I always saw myself as a strong and independent woman. While being ill I was vulnerable and needed help. I learned that you don’t have to deal with everything by yourself. I was disappointed in myself for falling ill, placing more strain on my family and deferring an exam as a third-year medical student.”
Tamaryn said by speaking out about her ordeal she hopes she can help other people deal with their own struggle with the illness.