A Peruvian man with multidrug-resistant tuberculosis is thought to be the first with the condition to complete a 10K road race, which he did last month in 55 minutes at Lima's RPP Half Marathon and 10K.
Carlos Cantaro, 27, started running when he was 12 and was, he says, a decent runner in school. Then he contracted multidrug-resistant tuberculosis, or MDR-TB. According to Partners in Health, a global health nonprofit that works with health organizations in developing countries, one third of MDR-TB patients die from the disease, which ravages the lungs. Poor people such as Cantaro, who lives in a hillside shanty in Lima, are especially likely to die from the disease because treatment is expensive and lasts two years.
Cantaro began his treatment in 2012. Once his condition was under control, and disease-induced depression had lessened, he resumed the sport of his youth. He built up slowly, as his lungs and overall physical condition allowed. He worked up to running every other day, and doing at-home exercises on non-running days.
“I want to start my own business and continue running to be an example to others,” Cantaro said after his race. “They too can make this choice, to believe that it can be done.”
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