Devon Nicholson learned he was living with hepatitis C virus (HCV) in 2009. He got the diagnosis as part of a routine physical screening by World Wrestling Entertainment (WWE).
Nicholson received his HCV-positive test result just when he hoped his pro wrestling career would finally reach the next level. Instead, the WWE contract was rescinded. All those years of hard work, including amateur wrestling in high school and professional wrestling, seemed to have been for nothing.
It was during those years that he earned the nickname “Hannibal,” after Dr. Hannibal Lecter from The Silence of the Lambs. It was also during those years that he believes he contracted HCV from another wrestler while in the ring. Consequently, he took that wrestler to court and won his case against him in 2014.
Before winning in court, Nicholson won his fight against hep C—he was cured in 2012—but going through treatment wasn’t easy. At first, he used an older regimen, which had horrible side effects and didn’t work. Then he went on newer treatment but still had to deal with bad side effects. The latest treatments have virtually no side effects.
Now that those battles have been won, Nicholson has started a new chapter in his life. He has a production company that stages pro wrestling events in and around Canada and has revived his Hannibal character to compete in them. He has a successful YouTube channel and has embarked on an acting career. He is even competing in mixed martial arts. Click here to read more.
As Nicholson’s HCV journey demonstrates, getting cured of the virus isn’t about being healthier for its own sake, it’s about living longer to be able to achieve your goals. Luckily, it turns out that beating hep C using direct-acting antivirals can improve overall survival. People who get cured of HCV likely even improve their outcomes when it comes to numerous non-liver-related health conditions. Click here to learn more.
Being motivated to get hep C treatment is important, but often it’s not enough. Expanding access to treatment remains a challenge. Although the latest cures have been available for nearly five years, many private insurers still aren’t paying for treatment. As a result, policy experts have devised a pricing strategy that could help states treat more hep C. Click here for more information.
To learn how to help advance precision medicine, for which treatment is customized for individuals, click here.