Leominister, Massachusetts
Diagnosed with Hep C in 2000
I am a mother of three great kids and grandmother of four beautiful grandchildren. I like oil painting, crafts, and interior decorating. I also like to cook, but can’t do as much as often as I would like to. It all depends on whether I am having good days or bad days.

Fifteen years ago I needed back surgery. Prior to the operation, I banked three pints of my own blood, just in case I lost blood during the operation. The blood bank called me and said that I had hepatitis C. My primary care doctor said it had to be a false positive, and that it happened a lot. I believed him. Later, a new doctor confirmed that I had hepatitis C, genotype 1a. I’ve had it for about forty years, which seems like a long time.

Two years ago I tried the triple medication treatment, which was hard. I am super sensitive to meds and had to stop after a month of side effects. We’ve been waiting for Harvoni to be approved, and it was. There’s just one problem: I am on disability and insured through Medicare and Mass Health, and I don’t know if the drug will be paid for. I wish I could go to work and have the health I had before my back operation, but what are you going to do?

Let’s just pray that I can get Harvoni and it will be easy to tolerate and cure me. I also hope that the pharmaceutical companies can stop being so greedy. I need very low co-payments so I can afford these meds. I pray that all of us have a chance at being healthy again. These new treatments give us that wonderful chance.

Try to enjoy each day and have faith always.

What three adjectives best describe you?

Giving, thoughtful, big-hearted

What is your greatest achievement?
My family

What is your greatest regret?
Not being healthy

What keeps you up at night?

If you could change one thing about living with viral hepatitis, what would it be?

What a difference it would make in my life if I didn’t have hep C…yippie ki yay for sure!

What is the best advice you ever received?
Don’t judge people by the first impression they make.

What person in the viral hepatitis community do you most admire?

Natalie Cole

What is your motto?
Family is a circle of strength and love.

If you had to evacuate your house immediately, what is the one thing you would grab on the way out?

My family

If you could be any animal, what would you be? And why?
A dog. I believe they can sense your very being and they are wonderful companions.