© Sebastian Oliel WHO/PAHO

Living with NCDs

Stories from people affected by NCDs

Here we share stories of those affected by NCDs - be they patients, families or carers, to aid understanding. While the diseases themselves may internationally be the same by definition and diagnosis, the experiences of them vary depending on the context in which they are experienced. We invite submissions, if you would like to consider sharing your story.

“Your baby has a brain abnormality.” Those were the chilling words Michelle's parents heard when her mom was 29 weeks pregnant with her. At three days old, the doctor discovered Michelle's brain abnormality was the result of a hemorrhagic stroke.

Living in the moment, but also continuing to strive to achieve and create a life that is still meaningful, allows Kate to remain positive in spite of dementia...

Teenager Mariam John was optimistic despite the pain she suffers from cancer in her leg. Her best friend bolstered her optimism: “What cheers me up is when she writes me letters. She believes that I can be cured. I wish more people would think like her.”

“At first I was revolted and didn’t understand how I’d become ill,” says Milton Paulo Floret Franzolin of his reaction to being diagnosed with type 2 diabetes. “My frustration didn’t last for long, I didn’t want to be a victim but rather, a fighter.”

Abish Romero was diagnosed with breast cancer in America, but was fortunate to be able to return to Mexico where she could access UHC to get the care she needed to beat the disease.

Shakeela Begum lives a relatively sedentary life following her heart attack, but has considerable responsibilties, which contribute to her anxiety about the risk of recurring heart disease challenges. 

“It is just too hard to find reasonably priced products during the dry season, so I can’t manage his diet,” laments Malri Talib's mother, who struggles to alleviate her young son's obesity.

Since Roberto’s first stroke, his wife has been working long hours to earn money for the family, to cover the loss of his income and the additional costs of care.

Menaka Seni already had diabetes, but realised that she needed to make changes after her heart attack: “Taking medication for my heart and diabetes helps but it takes more than that. You also need to change behaviour to lower your health risks,” she explains.