Bakersfield, California
Diagnosed with Hep C in 1997

I had surgery on my lower back in 1983 and 1985. In 1989, I had to have a spinal fusion. My co-workers and I would donate blood at our local blood bank regularly. After donating blood in 1996, I received a call explaining I had hepatitis C. I made an appointment with my doctor who told me that hep C was a virus. They would watch it but told me not to worry about it.

In 2002, I received a call from my gastroenterologist. They wanted me to come in right away. Lab tests were ordered, and I had a liver biopsy. Two weeks later, I started treatment. The first time I was treated with interferon and ribavirin. The second time, I received interferon, ribavirin and Victrelis. Now I am on round three, and I am taking interferon, ribavirin and Sovaldi. The side effects have been so much easier. Sovaldi has made all the difference in the treatment.

What is your greatest achievement?

Being undetectable for hepatitis C

What is your greatest regret?
Having to wait for so many years to find out what hep C was

What keeps you up at night?
Hepatitis C treatment medications

If you could change one thing about living with viral hepatitis, what would it be?
My fatigue. I wouldn’t change anything else. I’ve learned a lot.

What is the best advice you ever received?
Don’t hide having hepatitis C. Talk about it, answer questions, and ask your doctor questions. Learn from it.

What person in the viral hepatitis community do you most admire?
My wife. She doesn’t have the virus but she is a great support person.

What drives you to do what you do?
My children and grandchildren

What is your motto?
Grab this dragon by the tail and slay it.

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

If you could be any animal, what would you be? And why?
A lion