Healing Hepatitis C

HEALING HEPATITIS C “Hepatitis C? What’s that?”

“How did I get it?”

“What about my family and friends?”

“Is there a treatment?”

“Am I going to die?”

These are just a few of the many good questions we hear all the time: one of us as a patient and the other as a doctor, both of us hepatitis C educators and advocates. Even though over 4 million persons in the U.S. and nearly 200 million people worldwide are affected by hepatitis C, it is still hard to get straightforward answers. We hope to change that here.


Our own paths first converged through our common interests in hepatitis C activism and the conviction that strong advocacy leads to good health policy. We both serve in leadership positions in the California Hepatitis Alliance (CalHEP), a statewide organization that seeks to improve California’s legislative approach to the viral hepatitis epidemic, and we continue to meet with our Governor and other policymakers on an ongoing basis to educate them about this condition and to inform sound public health policies in our state.


Despite our vastly different backgrounds, we came to recognize that our personal journeys in hepatitis C had significant parallels. Neither of us set out to be an expert on hepatitis C or to advocate for awareness and treatment: hepatitis C had been an imposed struggle rather than a visionary process. For both of us, our initial ignorance and frustration was ultimately supplanted by growth, hope and success. And to be honest, we had both been well-served by our tendencies toward hardheadedness.


This is a different kind of hepatitis C book. It takes the form of a conversation between us, as we speak and respond to each other about our shared experiences, struggles, and successes with hepatitis C. But although we speak to each other, we are really speaking to you. You will come to learn about hepatitis C much as we did: in a gradual way, from trial and effort, from ourselves as well as the other patients whose struggles are recounted here.


Having hepatitis C can be a transformative, ‘forty days and forty nights’ kind of experience. It is tough. But in these personal stories of confronting stigma and misinformation, fears and frustrations, you will find a sourcebook for medical and treatment information: what hepatitis C is and what it does, what to expect during treatment, how to communicate with your physician, ways to find the support you need, and how to advocate for yourself, your friends, and loved ones. But most of all, we hope to walk you through the process of facing the diagnosis and treatment head-on, to show you that it is possible to get through this hepatitis C thing—and to be cured—without surrendering your life to it.



7 Responses to “Healing Hepatitis C”

  1. Thank you with the fiber of my being for becoming a spokesperson on this hurtful virus..it is a hard treatment and needs to be recognized as an upcoming threat to the American and world population..for along time I have been looking for that person who has the resources as well as an educated, strong voice to bring this to the front in the media and who can command the attention of the general public I believe I have found that voice..so thank you Mr Lawford for taking this role upon yourself..it is no easy thing for us undergoing treatment to get the understanding from those around us as well as to not have people step back when they hear it..not to mention not all those treating it in the medical arena are as insiteful and knowledgable as they should be as well as more compassionate..sometimes we feel as if we are still in a major clinical trial while they still gather more information and statistics on the treatment itself..some of us are trying to raise families, take treatment, keep roofs over our heads, and not be driven to shear desperation by the whole process..you are an astounding individual in yourself as well as keeping the legacy of the good within your family alive and moving into the future..a sincere thank you

  2. Hi Christopher …
    I have also suffered from HepC tho thankfully did the treatment and cleared…
    This is my story with HepC

    http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/health/7856026.stm

    I met someone online with hepc two years ago and last year I married him on World Hepatitis Awareness Day.

    http://www.timesonline.co.uk/tol/life_and_style/health/article3990791.ece

    We try and raise as much awareness as we can to get as many tested for HepC, we also run our own online forum with nearly 900 members from around the globe

    http://hepcnomads.co.uk/phpBB3/index.php

    Could you please add our Forum website as a link on your blog, many say without the Nomads Forum they would never complete their treatment we offer support 24/7..so we need to reach out to as many as we can…

    Kind regards Chrissy

  3. Dear Mr. Lawford I first heard about your situation in Soap Opera Weekly & was impressed then! I am so glad you have continued on with your crusade of making the public aware of Hep C such a hideous, devastating disease.
    I am 2b Grade 2 Stage 4 with fibrosis & Cirrhosis, have treated 2x was undetected but relapsed both times and am now on maintenance waiting for the next “miracle” drug.
    I belong to the Delphi group HCV Living Room for Non SVR which has been a life safer.
    Thankk you again and take care.
    Coreen Kerr Burnaby, B.C. Canada

  4. Dear Mr. Lawford I first heard about your situation in Soap Opera Weekly & was impressed then! I am so glad you have continued on with your crusade of making the public aware of Hep C such a hideous, devastating disease.
    I am 2b Grade 2 Stage 4 with fibrosis & Cirrhosis, have treated 2x was undetected but relapsed both times and am now on maintenance waiting for the next “miracle” drug.
    I belong to the Delphi group HCV Living Room for Non SVR which has been a life safer.
    Thankkyou again and take care.
    Coreen Kerr Burnaby, B.C. Canada

  5. Hi,

    Thank you for helping to raise awareness of Hepatitis C. I was diagnosed in 2002 and chose not to do the combo treatment as I am 1b genotype and had only minor inflammation.

    I belong to a support group called “Hepatitis Children and Cam Alternatives” for folks with all kinds of liver disorders. Most do have hep c and most have failed treatment. Many of us are using Low Dose Naltrexone or LDN and are having wonderful results with it. My viral load dropped from over a million to 18,000 and my liver enzymes are now normal. The LDN will not cure Hep C but will keep the virus from progressing and improve one’s liver function and immune system. I strongly urge non-responders to look into Low Dose Naltrexone – I have chronicled my use of it on my blog: http://nolahepper.blogspot.com/

    Thank you again for trying to help others with Hepatitis C!

  6. After 48 weeks of a treatment that was at times brutal, I have just gone for my 6 month appointment, (while in treatment I was responsive and had no sign of the virus), my doctor has tole me that I am back with the virus with a higher viral load than when first diagnosed. I am crushed and tring to get my thoughts in order. I will be reading this book for inspiration and knowledge.

  7. Thank you, thank you, thank you! I hope you are one that can say our words for us! YOu know what we are going through, You know how hard it is for us to get out and push for ourselves over the yell! We are not welcome, and sadly unable to get together and understand! Just like I was told over 30 years ago…oh it is all in your head. An abnormaly fuctoning liver can effect our complete being, ruining out lives in all aspects! Please be our voice! And thank you for all you do! God Bless!

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