Riverside, California
Diagnosed with Hep C in 2013

I am 29 years old. Last year I was diagnosed with hepatitis C following a routine medical exam. My doctor noticed my liver levels were elevated on a routine blood test. More tests were ordered, and a hep C test came up positive. I thought my life was going to be over quickly. I wondered how I got hepatitis C since I had never experimented with drugs or used needles. The doctor asked me if I had ever had surgery. In 1984, I had received a blood transfusion during open-heart surgery. My doctor thinks that is how I got the virus but it took this long to show up on lab tests. I find it hard to comprehend.

Since then, I have had more blood tests and ultrasounds. I hope to start treatment soon, and am waiting for the FDA to approve the new treatment that has fewer side effects.

When I found this website, I wanted to share my story and what I have learned. If you have hep C, be sure you get your hep A and B vaccines, if you haven’t already. I find that staying mentally positive comes and goes. Sometimes I get depressed.  Then I get ahold of myself and tell myself to wake up and be grateful that I am alive and now know that I have hep C.

At first, my world came crashing down. How and why I got hep C were the main questions that occupied my mind. After I got over the shock and devastation, I took a proactive approach and focused on getting healthier. I am trying to eat better, such as fruit shakes and leaner meat. I don’t drink and I stay active on a daily basis. I can’t wait to start the treatment and beat this, one day at a time.

What three adjectives best describe you?
Spontaneous, happy, full of life

What is your greatest achievement?
Finishing college

What keeps you up at night?
Being scared

If you could change one thing about living with viral hepatitis, what would it be?
I guess I wouldn’t change it because it is meant to be for a reason, but I don’t wish this upon anyone.

What is the best advice you ever received?
To stay strong and positive

What drives you to do what you do?
To empower, educate and help others

What is your motto?
Live, laugh and enjoy life in the moment.

If you had to evacuate your house immediately, what is the one thing you would grab on the way out?
The ashes of my dog, Achilles

If you could be any animal, what would you be? And why?
A dog. I love all animals but absolutely love dogs; they have so much personality.