When you think of tuberculosis, or TB, it is not an illness you would expect to hear about in 2017. But about 1,500 Canadians are living with TB, 300 of whom are in British Columbia. It remains the number one infectious disease in the world.

For more than 30 years, VGH & UBC Hospital Foundation has had a partnership with the TB Vets Charitable Foundation who have given us more than $2 million to date. On Wednesday afternoon, representatives from the TB Foundation presented a cheque of close to $87,000 to support patients in Vancouver General Hospital’s (VGH) TB ward, funding research into new drugs to treat TB and supporting the successful Recreation Therapy program.

“People affected by this disease need support, and will continue to need support until we achieve TB elimination.” says Dr. James Johnston, Clinical Assistant Professor for the Division of Respiratory Medicine, who spoke at the cheque presentation. “The TB ward, to function well, needs support like this. This  donation is very important to continue the high standard of TB care here at VGH. Thank you.”

Frank, a patient who was admitted to VGH’s TB ward about two weeks ago, says he is “very grateful” for the care he has received so far and for the support of the TB Vets Charitable Foundation.

“I was told that if I would have came in any later, I would have died,” he told the audience at the event. “I’m very grateful to be here, in the TB ward, getting better. I’m still recovering, I’m losing my breath just by talking this much, but I’m just really grateful to have this team working with me and for me. That comes from the bottom of my heart.”