Riverside, California
Diagnosed with Hep C in 2014

I am sharing my story in the hope that it might help other people who are struggling to obtain the hepatitis C medication, Harvoni. I was prescribed this medication and my insurance company denied coverage for it. I was devastated. I filed a grievance with my insurance company, Anthem Blue Cross. I was denied again. Then I filed a complaint with the Independent Medical Review Board and they granted me an expedited review. A week later, the insurance company’s initial denial was overturned, and I received my medication three days later.

Please, no matter what, do not take no for an answer. Do not give up. Anthem told me that treatment with Harvoni was not “medically necessary,” basically saying that I was not sick enough. I told them that everybody has different symptoms and are at different stages of the disease. I had other health issues associated with hepatitis C. Three out of three medical specialists said yes, it was medically necessary. 

Everybody who wants to be treated for hepatitis C should be treated, regardless of your liver disease stage. Please fight, fight, fight.

What three adjectives best describe you?
Friendly, compassionate, helpful

What is your greatest achievement?

Going up against the insurance company and winning

What is your greatest regret?
Not posting my comments and journey about this disease sooner; maybe I could have helped someone with specific issues.

What keeps you up at night?

My end-of-treatment viral load results; will I be cured?

If you could change one thing about living with viral hepatitis, what would it be?
The lack of energy that has been zapped from me

What is the best advice you ever received?

Information that I have read from Lucinda Porter about this disease; she is wonderful.

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

What drives you to do what you do?

Knowing that there is light at the end of the tunnel concerning the eradication of this virus

What is your motto?

Never give up.

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

If you could be any animal, what would you be? And why?
A dog, because of their love and loyalty (at least mine, anyway)