West Milford, New Jersey
Diagnosed with Hep C in 2003
In 2003, I was 21 when a doctor told me I had tested positive for hepatitis C. The world crashed down around me, as though I had been sentenced to certain death, and that it would come quite soon. I was devastated, scared, alone, and full of regret. I met with a liver specialist who assured me that I had time to wait for better treatments that would come out eventually. I didn’t believe that for a second. I asked to be put on the liver transplant list at that time. I was laughed at and informed that it didn’t work that way.
Sometimes I did my best to be conscious of my liver and to try to stay healthy. At other times, I threw caution to the wind and ignored all advice and warnings, doing whatever I felt like doing. I’m so happy to say that after 12 anxious years, I am now considered cured. This was accomplished after a 12-week course of Harvoni, which I took more seriously than anything else in my life thus far.
I’m so excited about this. I encourage anyone who is in my old shoes to get treated as soon as possible if they can be treated. I’ve been given a new lease on life, for which I am most fortunate and grateful.
What adjectives best describe you?
A courageous, generous, honest, imperfect, broken, disastrous, tricky, logical, dismissive, theatrical, remarkable, simple, worried, strange, beautiful, diligent, joyful, determined girl
What is your greatest achievement?
Overcoming insurmountable adversities, and being the best mother to my four children I can be.
What is your greatest regret?
Not listening to the sound advice my mother always gave me, as well as thinking I had all the time in the world to make up for what I lacked
What keeps you up at night?
Insomnia, relishing the calm peacefulness and silence that is fleeting during the day
If you could change one thing about living with viral hepatitis, what would it be?
I would have changed my lifestyle once and not repeatedly.
What is the best advice you ever received?
I’m not alone, and I am fully competent and capable of making the right choices for myself.
What person in the viral hepatitis community do you most admire?
What drives you to do what you do?
The legacy I hope to leave for my family one day.
What is your motto?
It’s better to tell the truth than a lie because you won’t have to “remember” what you said.
If you had to evacuate your house immediately, what is the one thing you would grab on the way out?
If you could be any animal, what would you be? And why?
I think I’d be a great dog because they are loyal, protective and loving, and have a minimal amount of responsibility.