Karen Hoyt is a blogger who has a story about hepatitis C, cirrhosis, end-stage liver disease, liver cancer, and liver transplantation. This excerpt first appeared on Karen’s I Help C blog.

Online dating can be fun. When I was single and sick, I spent a lot of time being the third wheel with friends, but I was lonely and wanted my own date. Sure, guys flirted with me at social events and even at church, but nothing clicked between us. Honestly, how do you tell a romantic interest that you have hepatitis and end-stage liver disease? Finally, my friend signed me up for an online dating service. When you’re sick, you may wonder if it’s a safe way to meet a “new” man or woman. You’ll never know till you try and here’s my best advice.


To attract the right person, describe yourself with words about your personality, strengths, and background. Tell what’s important to you like family, friends, work, or hobbies. I believe it’s okay to leave out health conditions here. In my opinion, that can come after a date or two. Focus on the things you want someone to know about you. You’ll be reading their profile looking for clues too! Mine was something about being a nerdy bookworm whose love for music was all over the map. Nerd Alert: I put in my favorite authors. My profile mentioned that time is short, and I wanted someone who knew what they wanted in a relationship. I was dying with liver disease and didn’t want any players, and I also am not good at faking anything. 


It’s fun to scroll pictures before reading a word. My friends helped me take a few. You want them to be current. Once I messaged a guy for 2 weeks and then met him. He had posted a 20-year-old picture! More about that one in the next blog. In one pic, I was super swollen from ascites. It made me look younger since my face was all plumped out. Let go of your self-consciousness and post some images of you taking part in a hobby you enjoy, and also some in different types of clothes. I had one in jeans, one in a dress, and another wearing shorts while holding my friend’s dog. Not sure what that was about, but my hair looked good. Avoid using filters in your pics for online dating sites. Just be the real you!

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