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For many of us those words can still haunt us.  We can remember getting the phone call or sitting in our doctor’s office waiting with nerves on edge.  “HEPATITIS C  Positive Kim,  we ran the test and yes you tested positive” my local family doctor said as he was writing in my soon to be huge file of medical notes.

I left that day in a daze.  I don’t really remember much of my short drive home but I do remember my mom and I crying together as now we both have tested positive.  We have been able to trace the infection back to my birth which was no ordinary event.  My mom Bonnie, then a 3-year post-kidney transplant, was about to become the first woman in the US and handful in the world to deliver a baby after transplant.  During this birth there was complications for which each of us received a blood transfusion.

Fast forward to 2005.  The dreadful news now within our special family. Obviously we were devastated.  I already had two beautiful children Megan then 10 and Garrett only 4.  Just newly purchased my own business and thought my life was on track.  But this sudden news of this deadly disease brought my world to an immediate halt.  I went through the next year watching my mother’s health deteriorate down quickly.  Sat with her as her doctor shared news that she was not able to undergo any form of treatment for her hep C because it would shut her transplanted kidney down.  With no words spoken, we looked at each other and it was as if our eyes were talking.  Her telling me not to worry and me telling her we will find a way.

I lost my mom on May 5, 2006, to this nasty disease.  I was furious.  I began to slip into a dark downward spiral of helplessness.  Thought everyone was afraid to be around me, wanted to hide within my home and never come out.

It was late one night; I was going in to get ready for bed when I glanced at my reflection in the mirror.  For a split second I saw my mom.  I stood there looking into the eyes of this woman I no longer recognized.  One that just a year ago was full of life, dreams and ambitions.  As I stared into her, I heard a small voice say “NOT WITHOUT A FIGHT.”

Immediately I turned to see who was talking to me but no one was there.

Waking up the next morning, I woke up telling myself I was going to learn all about this disease I was carrying around like a heavy weight.  With each book I read, I began to see myself gain strength and composure.  I was now a sponge to this disease, I soaked up anything and everything I could get my hands on.  I began seeing the woman in the mirror look more like the Kim I once knew.  Deciding one day that I was no longer going to hide behind this disease of hepatitis C.  I was not going to allow this disease to now rule my life.  I was taking the driver seat once again.

From that day I have not turned a cheek to my diagnosis.  I have not allowed anything negative to soak into my mind.  The doctors can share any kind of news on any test report and tell me the odds but I was not listening.  Not without a fight was stuck in my head.  I have since gotten that phase copy written “Not without a FIGHT!~HCV~(c)”

I am here to share with you that you too can live a happy, positive life even with hepatitis C.  I truly believe that knowledge is power over hepatitis c.  Learn all you can, gain that control of your life back.  Get back the person you were before going to that appointment or receiving that dreadful call.  Don’t let negative energy rob you of a quality of life.  This disease has enough negative stigma etc tied to it...  DON’T ADD your name to it’s list.

Remember “Not without a FIGHT!~HCV(c) Together WE are STRONG!”