Note: Because I feel the information contained in this is important and timely, this post also appears on my website, LucindaPorterRN.com.
When I was a Girl Scout, I sold cookies and earned badges in sewing and roller-skating. Ann Ludlow, a 15-year-old high school student in Greenville, SC is hosting a concert to raise awareness about hepatitis C. Ann is working on her Girl Scout Gold Award, an achievement similar to becoming an Eagle Scout.
When Ann was 13, her mother underwent a year of hepatitis C treatment. She watched her mother grapple with treatment. Ann remembers her mother spending a lot of time on the couch. “It was hard to see her so sick, but my mother was always there when I needed her. Always. It made me very grateful to have such a wonderful Mom.”
The thing about hepatitis C that many people don’t realize is that it doesn’t just affect the person who has it - it affects everyone. When Ann’s mother was going through treatment, the entire family was affected. However, they pulled together. Ann’s father cooked dinners most of the time, and they all pitched in with the household chores.
Although her mother completed treatment successfully, Ann still had more work to do. When she talked to people about hepatitis C, she noticed a general lack of awareness. “Usually people have no idea what hepatitis C is, or they say it’s the disease all the drug addicts get. They don’t know how you contract it ether. Those that know what it is have incorrect information about it.”
Ann was not content to let this lack of awareness stand. She organized a concert to raise hepatitis C awareness. The event will be on August 31st in Greenville, South Carolina.
Ann is a real-life hero--an example of hope put to action. I asked her, “If you could dream big, what do you hope will come out of your awareness-raising efforts?” Ann responded, “I hope I could save a life, and I hope I can teach others what it really is. I would like everyone to know that you really can do anything, but you need to believe in yourself and be willing to do it.”
Thank you Ann, for believing in yourself, for being willing to act, and for making a difference in the world.
For more information about the hepatitis C awareness concert, visit Ann’s Facebook page, C This Is What It Is. Please help spread the word.