Famous People with Hepatitis C

Famous People with Hepatitis C
pamela anderson hepatits c
I didn’t look this good before Hep C treatment

I did not even know what Hepatitis C was when the doctor first told me that I had it. Just like you probably did, I went online when I was released from the hospital. I had always been a Judd’s fan. My daughter listened to them all the time and saw them in concert! I remember when Naomi Judd was diagnosed and retired. We were sad, and thought it was a strange blood disease that nurses got somehow. There was no internet at the time and very few people knew what the Hepatitis C Virus was.

When I looked at the list of famous people with Hepatitis C, it was surprising! Steven Tyler was actually appearing on American Idol that fall. I never missed an episode. Watching him week after week gave me inspiration that I too might beat the Hep C virus. He had always been skinny, but he still looked good and seemed so happy. He did not publicize his ordeal a lot in the press, but what I learned was that he went through treatment with Interferon and Ribavirin. He talks about crawling up the stairs when he couldn’t walk from fatigue.

It destroyed his marriage to an Oklahoma girl that he had been with for years. I knew her family and he actually came to our little town for holidays. As far as HCV, he spoke of the harsh side effects and it was a warning to me: be mentally prepared for the fight of your life. I kept thinking that if he was allowed to treat, why couldn’t I? I had Stage 4 Cirrhosis. I am sure his liver was in bad shape too. Yeah, he became my hero.

Evel Knievel  had also been a big part of my life. We lined up in front of the television in our living room to watch him perform his motorcycle stunts the whole time I was growing up. I actually went to the Snake River Canyon years later and was in awe of his vision to entertain people like he did. Too many injuries led to blood transfusions and Hep C. He had a liver transplant, but it was too late. He died of liver cancer, which scares the you know what out of me. 

David Crosby had liver transplant and bravely tell his story of Hepatitis C. Their Déjà Vu album got a lot of playtime at my house. Dad loved them and we harmonized often to Teach Your Children and Our House.  deja vu crosby hepatitis c

 Christopher Lawford, besides being a member of the Kennedy clan, was always a public figure as an actor. He became an important advocate and activist for Hepatitis C and his book has helped to create a lot of awareness to drug addiction as well.

Natalie Cole has captured all of our hearts for generations. My parents loved her dad. Her battle with drug addiction and Hepatitis C is well chronicled. She is very outspoken about her experience. Together with the American Liver Foundation, she and Gregg Allman work tirelessly to bring the plight of the hidden epidemic to the public.

Etta James’ story broke my heart. Her song At Last became a favorite after hearing it on the Northern Exposure soundtrack. She battled a heroin addiction and later painkillers. She died too young.

David Marks of the Beach Boys had treatment for Hepatitis C and is SVR. He leads a healthy lifestyle and is still going. Who knew that?

This list is NOT in order of importance. Can you tell? I saw the Allman Brothers Band back in the day and had a copy of their Live at the Filmore album. Who can forget Eat a Peach? Their songs were the backdrop of my teen years. There are still times I feel like I’ve Been Tied to the Whipping Post. Gregg Allman is now an outspoken activist for HCV and is still touring! I learned while writing this that a biographical movie is being made soon!

allman tuneintohepc
Live at the Filmore Tied to the Whipping Post?

 Keith Richards Rolling Stones talks openly about having Hepatitis C and I read everything I could get my hands on. He claims he cured himself. It was entertaining and brought me some hope, but I can honestly say that his methods are not for me. He’s a crazy son of a gun and is still rocking!

Dusty Hill was another surprise for me. I saw ZZ Tops a few times. I liked the early stuff. He treated and remains undetected. Can you believe they are still touring? That will give you hope for sure!

Billy Graham is a Professional Wrestling champion who treated with Interferon in 2011 and remains undetected! He is doing well and is a survivor!

Mickey Mantle is a famous Oklahoman. We are proud of our big league Yankees Baseball Player. He was handsome, talented, and born in Spavinaw, Oklahoma. It’s a little bitty town near Spavinaw Lake. What I did NOT know until a few years ago was that he also had Hepatitis C. He had battled alcoholism which fueled the Hep C. He received a transplant.  Sadly, he got liver cancer and died not long after the Alfred Murrah Federal Building was bombed. He helped raise money for the survivors and became a voice for organ donor groups.

Allen Ginsberg came to my attention as an author and poet. He was part of the Beat Generation, a literary movement that helped inspire the Hippie counter culture movement. I am a Bob Dylan fan and know that he and Allen had close ties during the early years.

Gomer Pyle – Who knew that Jim Nabors had Hepatitis B? I could not find any information about his treatment, but he married his partner in 2013, so he must be doing ok after his liver transplant. I’ll bet he treated for it. I loved the Andy Griffith Show and Gomer was a fave, along with Goober.

Pamela Andersonlast but not least, she openly talks about getting it from sharing a tattoo needle with Tommy Lee. The Bay Watch Babe is still going strong! I wonder what she would be like with Riba Rage? And how does she keep looking so good?

This sums up my short list of famous people with Hepatitis C. Many of us Baby Boomers remember all of these celebrities. We grew up with them. I never dreamed we would have something in common like Hepatitis C. Somehow it does inspire me to see how they have dealt with it. Some are survivors, others have passed on. But we will never forget them. Knowing that they suffered from the same symptoms of liver disease or Cirrhosis gives me courage. Hearing of how they beat the virus with treatment surely brought hope to me. When I hear that many got a transplant and are still going, it makes me know that if I have to have one, I too can Dream On of a life beyond Hep C.

If you would like to learn more about treatment  or healing liver damage click here!

Check out the video here.

I am a fan of of all the famous people with Hepatitis C, but it is the unknown people like you that I am best friends with too. I am also YOUR biggest fan in the battle against Hepatitis C and Cirrhosis. Xo Karen:)

Pics via Wikipedia.com, infectiousdiseasesjls.blogspot, pophistorydig.com, celebrity goodeeds.com

About Karen Hoyt

Karen Hoyt offers a no nonsense approach to living with Cirrhosis. A Hepatitis C treatment survivor, she created a liver loving diet and lifestyle that allows her to create awareness and advocate for her Best Friends at http://www.ihelpc.com

38 thoughts on “Famous People with Hepatitis C

  1. I want to know & learn all I can, But WHY is it sooo hard to find sound. Info on this major major epademic!!!? That’s as crazy as this deadly disease itself! & those who sjould &could warn & teach the public. R basicly doing nothing! But drag there feet! & it looks like Purposely!!!!!!! The majority of pep have to search endlessly & tirelessly just n hopes to locate sound & detailed info from pep like you, THANK YOU, and prayers of &for Godly healing. to you &those. Who suffer. Joy mcmann Mi.

    1. Joy,
      No weapon formed against you will prosper. What a great promise!!!! I’ve been there, searching through pages on the net. There are some great sites and research and those websites helped me a lot during the last 3 years. Some filled me with fear. I really want love to be the aim here. Love drives fear away, doesn’t it?
      You paid me the highest compliment… Thank you. I feel like I went through every worst possible thing just so I could hold out my hand to YOU.
      I’m glad you found the site. Your supportive comments touched my heart today. xoxo Karen:)

      1. No, Thank you! Prayers of only good and nothing but our LORD GOD’s best for you! Allowing yourself to be used as a Godly tool to help so many is a gift of strengthen, guide and love those of us like myself who I believe our LORD God directs us to your site. love and prayers Joy

        1. Joy,

          You name certainly matches your spirit! I love hearing your joy at finding the best friends guide. You are SO right about allowing God… Alone, I am simply a woman battling health issues. Our connection with each other and God is what gives us strength.

          Your comment brought so much joy to my day. Much much love to you, xoxo Karen:)

  2. Thank you Karen! I have just found out that my husband of 20 years has HepC. I also have been trying to find out everything I can about the virus, the treatment, ifit will have pased on to me or our 11 year old son!

    1. Please please rest assured that it is NOT passed on through the family. The only way it can be passed is in the blood.
      For more information, please read my post on transmission. You can type in a search for it in the box.
      I hope you can find all the answers to your questions here or on one of my links.
      Email me privately if you need anything.
      Your husband can get the help he needs. Bless your heart for learning and helping your family. xoxo Karen:)

  3. My daughter, who is a recovering heroin addict, just found out today that she has Hep C. She has to call the doctor back on Monday. He didn’t ask her to call him, he left a voice mail on her phone. I thought that was a weird way to let someone know they have Hep C. I am hoping — though I never ever wished this on her — that this will be her rock bottom. She has been in rehab 3 times and two weeks ago was found having seizures on the street and rushed to the hospital.

    My questions:

    1. Ethically was the doctor right to leave that message on her phone. I would think he would have said that he had test results abd to call him back.

    2. What are my risks of Hep C? Should I be tested? I have never shared anything with her. (I don’t think). I don’t do drugs.

    I guess I am just wondering here. I am worried for her, but there is nothing she can do until Monday. I found out from a message from her on Facebook that she wrote. I have MS and just turned on the computer.

    Thanks for the info. Her brother is also worried that he might have contracted it from her. But he called the CDC and they told him not to worry.

    1. You got hit with some hard news today. I’m so sorry. I’m a mother and can’t imagine the pain you must have gone through, only to be hit with news like this.

      Let’s believe together as moms that she will realize her true value in life. It sounds like your daughter was making some good choices. I’m in agreement with you and hope that this will be her turning point.

      To answer your questions:
      1. I wish the doctor had requested an appointment and told her in person. Is she able to find another doctor that may be more sympathetic?
      2. I have a blog on the exact numbers. The short version is that the risk of transmission is very low. It has to be a blood borne contact. I can only say that myself and many others have lived with family members who never contracted the virus. I shared a razor with my daughter and husband for many years. I did ask them both to be tested. Twice. They were negative both times.

      She is probably feeling pretty low right now. If she has been using drugs, you two have surely had some rough places in your relationship. Give her some time to let it sink in and let her know you are there for her. I will say that if she is able to treat, the chances of clearing the virus are good.

      Her rehab counselor may be a good source of advice. There are many good web links on the sidebar here at my site. There are also facebook pages. Many of these have a lot of caregivers who do not have Hepatitis C, but are friends and loved ones looking for encouragement.

      I hope you’ll consider me as a best friend in your journey. You didn’t find this site by accident. I’ll hold you and your family in my heart. Go to my contact me page and please stay in touch. xoxo Karen:)

      1. Thank you so much for your thoughtful reply, Karen. My daughter is 25 years old. I told her to call the doctor on Monday right away as soon as the office opens so she can get started on treatment. She is on my insurance, but that will end on October 8 when she turns 26. She has to find some way to pay for her treatment. She had been told while she was in rehab through something called an E chart — a message on there — that her liver tests came back high. (so she didn’t find out till 2 months later as they didn’t have Internet in rehab and her doctor knew she was entering rehab). So this really stinks. If I had found out before, I would have insisted she call the doctor right away, but she sent me a message on Facebook and I didn’t get it till after the offices were closed.

        1. You sound like a level headed woman with a plan. I’m sure your daughter must have some of that strength. She also has youth on her side. The liver tests will be high because of inflammation. It does not necessarily indicate damage. I have links under clinical trials. Major cities also offer free clinics. Private insurance has it’s benefits, but I have seen people approach this from a variety of ways and get the treatment needed. So much to think about.

          If you are active on facebook, there are some great groups who are knowledgeable regarding all of the treatment options in various parts of the country. hcvadvocate is a good resource. So much reading.That dreaded learning curve.

          A mother’s love knows no bounds. I have so much faith in you and your families future.

          I’m heading to a forest retreat this morning and will be sending love your way. Thanks for keeping me posted.
          love and hugs, Karen

  4. my fiance found out recently he had it…not sure if its still active. worse part…he was treated by a liver dr and wasn’t told from his main dr that he had it. I got so worried because i know that there can be a chance it can be transferred sexually but its a slim chance. I got blookwork done today and I am trying to remain calm. you say it can only be passed through the blood? I heard other wise…..help

    1. Hi Paulette –
      Congratulations on your engagement!

      Right after diagnosis a million fears go through your mind. I hope you get a chance to read my blog on sex and one on dating. Go to the “start here” on the right side of your screen and they are easy to find.
      In a nutshell, HCV is NOT transferred easily through sex. Less than 1% if I remember right. With the new drugs to treat, he can be free of it and you can move on toward your future. There will be some rough spots getting through, but he’s lucky to have someone who tries to remain a calming presence.
      All my best to you both! Please let me know if you need anything.
      xoxo Karen:)

  5. Hi Karen….
    I was diagnosed almost three years ago with hpv. I was living on the streets before then and shared a needle with someone who said they had hep c, and I still took the needle full of herion anyway (because I was so progressed in my drug addiction ) and put it in my viens. I still kick myself for knowing he had it and not caring at the time. Thats so unbelivable I did that. But now I am past that.
    I was told three years ago, that I would have to remain sober for at least six months before I started treatments. for 2 1/2 years I struggled with relapses and not on Jan. 22nd I have finally made it to the six month mark. (I am doing well and in outpatient treatment :)
    Now, on feb 4th, 2014, I will be finally starting the treatments. I worry about whether I am going to be able to handle it and be strong enough to get thru it. I know that I cannot do this alone. I have been praying to god to send all the angels he can, well send jesus himself pls! lol And I am living with my aunt who is an adult foster care, and she has been helping me throught the flu like symptoms that I am already having.
    I am now just accepting that this is going to happen, and this is the first time I have looked up any info on it…seriously! And I just have a couple weeks til then!! I am so scared karen. Is there anything that you could do to help me with the fear and anxiety? You have already helped me enough by finding this website, so I thank you for that. I can tell your a special person with faith by reading all your posts, so bless you,

    1. Jennifer,

      Congratulations on making it to the 6 month mark! Your start day is coming up soon! You make me cry this morning. Tears of joy that you have come so far. What a strong woman you are! You know, we all have areas where we just get into denial. We can’t handle the truth all at once. You have slowly peeled back the layers and gotten to the core of what is happening to you physically, mentally, and emotionally. It can be so overwhelming!
      As far as fear and anxiety, maybe your doctor can offer a med to see you through this tough time. Treatment is not easy. But girl – you are going to be AMAZED at your own inner strength. Keep reading. You are smart to jump into the learning mode. I wrote my blog from the most light hearted place that I could. I hate scary stories. They circle in my mind and weigh me down.
      One day at a time. That is all that you can do. Learn to quiet your mind by repeating peaceful phrases. Read the “I Am” blog. It works..
      Will you keep me posted? Check me out on facebook too. There are several forums and tons of people in the same situation. I’m here for you. much love and prayers. Bless you hunnyo.
      xoxo Karen:)

  6. Hi Karen,

    My name is Greg. I am 31 years old. I have known about my Hepatitis C diagnosis since I was 17, the year I tried donating blood for the first time. I was excited at the thought of being one of the first in my class to have such opportunity (being born in January). But later I would receive a letter in the mail from the American Red Cross stating never to try donating blood again. I was shocked, and yet I did not know anything about Hep C.

    I have always tried to maintain an active lifestyle. I rowed crew in high school, completed three marathons and one 1/2 marathon. I likely acquired Hepatitis C through a craniofacial surgery I had as a child in 1983. My family and I believe a blood transfusion occurred with infected blood. Or I could have acquired the disease when I was 16, when I had a second surgery done in 1999, but I’m almost positive no transfusions took place.

    It wasn’t until around November 2012 that I started feeling lethargic and susceptible to allergies to certain food and substances. I remember one night going to a bar with friends and drinking a few sips of my then-favorite: Guinness, and having to put it down because I suddenly developed a dizzy feeling. I asked the bartender for water and I never picked up a beer or alcoholic beverage again. Well, if you count taking a sip of wine at Church then I’d have to say that was the only other time. But when I took that sip, later that evening and night, I had developed an irregular heartbeat and my pulse increased. I believe it was God telling me I don’t need have any alcohol ever again. I haven’t looked back. For a few months I also had an adverse reaction to chocolate, and I avoid caffeine at all possible. I would have similar reactions. My doctor later told me I could have an allergy to sulfites. I can now consume chocolate again (in moderation) but I avoid any other caffeine and wine/beer.

    I also notice I am sensitive to extreme temperatures. Being from New York, I had difficulty last summer with extreme heat. I now live in Minnesota and, like many people, am dealing with an extremely cold winter. Have you found yourself to have sensitivity to extreme temperatures?

    I have Hepatitis C genotype 2a, and a viral load of about 1 million (last I checked in August 2013). My doctor then told me he wasn’t too concerned about doing anything then and my CBC/liver test seemed fine. My AST and ALT were 49 and 103. My Albumin was 5.1, which I’ve been told is a good sign in itself.

    I refuse to take Interferon and Ribavarin; I’m more of a naturalist. I currently take Bovine Colostrum (supplements) Vitamins B-Complex w/C, Cal/Mag/Zinc/Vit D and Milk Thistle. In addition, I try to eat well. 6’1”, 180.

    Thanks for providing a platform for people like myself to share their story.

    God bless,


    1. Greg,

      What an amazing story you have. Almost 20 years now with HCV and your labs are amazing! Congratulations on making some wise choices and prolonging your liver health. I’m a believer in homeopathy and have used Bovine and pig extracts myself. I’m happy that it is working for you! It won’t kill the virus, as you can see by your viral load, but it just may help to protect your liver.

      A lot of those symptoms describe me exactly. I tried drinking a few glasses of wine and it always made me ill. Looking back, in my 30’s I was on a beta blocker and we thought the heart irregularities were from living in the mountains and drinking too much coffee and hot chocolate. That was also the first time I realized how sensitive I was to temperatures. I literally could not go swimming because my heart would begin to accelerate and I was frozen in the water. I’ve tried twice to live up North and always move back to Oklahoma to get warm.

      Being diagnosed at end stage meant that something had to happen fast. My liver was failing. The new treatment did the trick for me. It was hell. But I’m alive and would do it again. You have a great regime working for you. I heartily applaud your diligence! It is also great that you stay in contact with a doctor who can monitor the condition of your liver. And maybe keep an eye on those new drugs… :)

      I’m so happy that you shared your story here. It is truly inspirational and I know it will help other readers. You are a great example of how lifestyle and diet are beneficial to those with Hepatitis C. If you ever want to write it formally…. I’d love to post it. Thanks dear friend.
      xoxo Karen:)

  7. Hi Karen,
    I found August 2013 I had hep c genotype 2. Viral load is 853,000 and latest AST/ALV was 45/53. I have been waiting for the new drug Sovaldi to start treatment. Unfortunately I was just diagnosed with a form of breast cancer DCIS. I now have to undergo treatment for that before I can start the Sovaldi/Riboviron treatment. My liver biopsy showed stage 3 fibrosis. I am so nervous to wait even longer now but the cancer must come first and I can not be treated simultaneously for hep c. I have had no alcohol since diagnosis.
    Is there anything else you can recommend I do to prevent further progression while I address the breast cancer ?
    Many thanks,

    1. Martha,

      Sometimes I like to read a comment and then think about it. Your story is amazing. You are also a very rare case. Thankfully your lab work for liver and viral load look good. In other words, the virus is active, but not raging full blown in the millions. That said, of course you want to be rid of it as soon as possible!

      I hope your cancer specialist is able to communicate with your hepatologist or gastrointerologist. I have to wonder if you are having surgery and treatment such as chemo or radiation. Girl, you have got a lot going on. My heart and prayers are with you.

      As for your question, I’ve thought a lot and actually started a couple of blogs regarding nutrition. That is going to be the only thing you really have control over right now. By avoiding supplements and foods that are not liver safe, you will protect it. You will need all the nurtition you can get to finish your cancer treatment. Please be sure that you get a good amount of protein through a shake. You are going to need your stength sweetie.

      I could say so much more. My heart is really full for you. If anything I have said on the blog encourages you or helps you through this, I am so grateful. Thank you for stopping by and taking the time to share your story.
      Will you do me a favor and PLEASE check back in? Let me know if you need more support?
      xoxoxoxo Karen:)

      1. Hi Karen,
        I will have radiation but no chemo. What are some liver safe foods you mention? And no supplements? Like milk thistle etc?

        1. Martha,

          I’ve written about Safe Vitamins and Supplements and also about daily sample of diet. It is really strict at first. You will have a little more wiggle room once you get rid of the cancer and virus. That’s why I call it being a nutritional ninja. Discipline is key.

          Go to the “Start Here” with the checkered flag icon on the home page. There’s a list and you can look up milk thistle, food, and supplements. I’m not a dr, but this is safe advice and saved my life.

          You can do this. I’m smiling at your determination. YOU are in it to win it, right? I’m here for you. xoxo Karen:)

  8. I don’t know where your info comes from but you are not right about Micky Mantle. He drank 1 liver to death, received a transplant and drank THAT one away too. Pam Anderson was an advocate for the Liver Foundation for a little while about 12 yrs ago. Naomi always said “her God & fans” saved her and never admitted to going through 3 treatment regimes. Evel almost died because he actually passed on a liver to give it to a young man stating that he himself had lived a full life. He wanted the young father to have the chance to raise his family. Evel did get the next available liver.

    Milk thistle has been tested and shown to falsely mask true LFT’s so its not the smartest thing to advice people to take it.

    Treatment still isn’t the answer for everyone and until people start showing up TOTALLY UNDETECTED after at least 5 years post treatment the “cure” word should be used very carefully.

    Science has NEVER been able to cure a virus to date and until they can prove they have why get people’s hopes up?

    Sorry but I have a real problem when misinformation is plastered all over the web.

    1. Leighann,

      You are so right! There IS a lot of misinformation out there. I would never want to be included as one who promotes something as a definite 100% truth if it’s not. I hope that you will read my blogs knowing that it is based on what I know and am able to research and what my doctors tell me. If it is a borderline topic, I state it up front and present both sides as clearly as possible.

      My whole state are big Micky Mantle fans and upon learning I had Hep C, I was told by my baseball loving friends that he had the virus. I’m publishing this so that anyone who reads it can do their own research if they want to. Maybe I should make a call and find out. His family all still lives here and his great nephew plays high school baseball nearby. If I’m wrong, I’ll retract it for sure. Thanks for the heads up!

      I knew Pam had done some public work and hear she refused treatment. I did NOT know that Naomi had treated…. You know, I watched a program about Evel before he died. It’s funny how HCV does not really register in our minds until WE get the news ourselves.

      When I was diagnosed and began searching for answers, I wanted the facts. Some of those facts were debatable based on who wrote them and what date it was written. My motive in blogging is not to be an expert, but a best friend sharing her experience. I will always be the first to point people to the experts.

      I appreciate you dropping by and commenting! I actually looked up Micky Mantle’s death cert and it says nothing about hcv. I wonder if mine will?

      Thanks again from your sometimes inaccurate, but always honest friend,
      xoxo Karen:)

      1. Karen,

        This is where my problem is. “I was told by my baseball loving friends that he had the virus.” First and foremost it doesn’t really matter a whit if he or anyone else famous had/has HepC. Pam never treated, Naomi never admitted to treating, it just doesn’t matter.

        I remember in 1998 when I was first researching RELIABLE information and writing my own webpage, being told to ONLY post information that was true, honest and would be helpful to newcomers. I was a newcomer myself and had to pick through loads of websites that got info from “friends of friends”. Most all of it was wrong. I can’t tell you know many hours I wasted looking at misinformation and junk that was (and sometimes still is) posted online.

        From that time on, I’ve always been a stickler about substantiated facts only. Why perpetuate errors? It doesn’t help people who are looking for answers. People who are new to HCV are afraid enough, why make it worse by incorrect information?

        Newcomers to this virus are looking for answers that they can expect to be reliable. Many don’t know where to look online. Instead of being one of the places they get false info, be one of those places they get the FACTS. Or send them to the websites for National Institutes of Health, Mayo Clinic, American Liver Foundation.

        My first stop was Hepatitis Foundation International and I’ve never regretted that first stop. I learned to become my own medical advocate. I became a patient advocate as well. Most people don’t realize they CAN and SHOULD question their doctors about treatments. THEN research the treatments the doctors recommend. AND research their doctors! Many so called Liver Specialists are really Internists, or Infectious disease Drs who don’t know what to do with HCV patients even now.

        My second stop was a support group, run by and for other Hepatitis C patients. You can garner an awful lot of good information and support there.

        Many people don’t even NEED treatment, yet doctors are STILL pushing it onto their patients because they either don’t know what else to do or (and YES this happens alot) they get kickbacks from the drug companies. Keep in mind that nearly ALL treatment studies are run by the drug companies. They have a HUGE financial stake in getting their drugs approved. They tend to use the easiest to treat. While many treatments DO lower a viral load count, the Genotype is the thing to watch. Viral loads change as fast as regular LFT’s do. Genotype 1a & 1b are the MOST DIFFICULT to treat. Seldom, even today, do people with this genoytpe become undetected or stay that way.

        As for the “cure” word. I’l believe THAT when ALL genotypes come back 5 yrs down the road with UNDETECTED viral loads. It’s also known that just because it’s “undetected” in the blood, HCV can hid in many other places that aren’t checked. No test goes to a ZERO level.

        Yes, I’m a Genotype 1b. Yes I have done treatment – 4 times in 4 years. Nope, I never once became undetected, BUT I am a firm believer that I held off moving into Cirrhosis by treating. It’s been 10 yrs since I have done any form of treatment, and will never do Interferon again, and yes now I am in Cirrhosis. I also know that I would have needed a transplant 10 yrs ago had I not done treatment. Interferon and even the new stuff will not reverse cirrhosis as it is permanent scarring. But if it slows down the progression of liver damage, then I’m all for it! If someone is only in Stage 2 fibrosis, shown on a liver biopsy, I’d then wait for better results depending on Genotype. Not everyone needs or should do treatment.

        I don’t believe in using alternatives because they have NOT been proven to be affective and some can cause more harm to a liver than drinking. This is my opinion but why put something in your body that you think will help, only to find out it caused more damage than the HepC did?

        As for the Mick’s death cert…you won’t find HepC on too many of those if there was another cause, such as his liver cancer. The only way your’s will say HCV is if your family pushes them to put it on there. And then only IF it was a mitigating factor in your death. (which should be a very long time from now and won’t matter a whit to you by then anyway!)


        1. Hi LeighAnn, I am sorry you have had such a hard time. There is now a cure that doesn’t include interferon. There is Harvoni approved the end of last year and a drug by Abbievie, Viekera, approved in January. Karen created this blog to help everyone, from being diagnosed with HCV to curing it, to liver cancer and treatment, to now a transplant. She helps with diet, side effects. Anything you can think of is here. There are many many pages. You could start under “Best Friends Start Here” She has a wealth of information, She wanted to help everyone on the spectrum instead of having to go to one place for a liver friendly diet, to HCV, another for Cancer, another for transplant. She is a very good writer and people are so appreciative that there is a place to come for information. Karen has done a lot of research to create this blog. She has helped so many people. Her IhelpC is all over, on Facebook and also on Twitter. She works and writes for a RN. She also works with other Hepatitis C Advocates, giving her time freely, in an attempt to help people and put the information in to words that everyone can understand. I hope you can find a good hepatologist and get treated. I wish you all the best in the future. I know how hard the interferon was I had to do it twice before I was cured. The word cured has been used for the last 3 years.
          I think, if you look around you will find that many many people are now cured of HCV. Research and Development has changed quite a bit since you last treated. Karen and I have been cured of Geno Type 1 for over 3 years. My best to you, good luck, Dee

    2. Hello there! I wanted to let you know there are new medicines out there that are curing the HCV virus.
      I am over two years post treatment and have been declared cured.
      It is not like it was back in the 90’s. People are being cured now, some without interferon.

      Good luck to you

    3. Hello, you may want to conduct some new research on the treatments that are curing people of HCV. There have been many changes in the past 3 years. Perhaps you have seen commercials for Harvoni or Sovaldi. There is financial assistance out there as well.
      There is new hope for people. HCV is no longer a death sentence. Perhaps even Pam Anderson will treat. Many celebrities have hidden their HCV, much like Rock Hudson hid the fact that he had AIDs. Karen and I have been cured of HCV for over 3 years.
      Good luck to you
      Dee Ernst recently posted…Post Liver Transplant Protein and HealingMy Profile

    4. Excerpt from Micky Mantle’s obituary in the Washington Post

      After he retired, his celebrity status continued, and he drew large crowds to autograph shows and his baseball camps and appeared on TV talk shows and even music videos. But as a Yankees superstar, he had developed a taste for high living and good liquor that only accelerated after his playing days ended, and he eventually became a chronic alcoholic. He was treated for alcoholism, and his damaged liver eventually was ravaged by cirrhosis, hepatitis C and the cancer that led to his death.
      Dee Ernst recently posted…Post Liver Transplant Protein and HealingMy Profile

  9. I have hep c also had a transplant in 08 now I am to see the doc on April 18 to discuss
    the new drugs any body who thinks they a possible chance GET TESTED time is not
    On your side.

    1. Richard,

      It sounds like your transplant has gone well for you over the years. Now all you have to do is get rid of the virus! Woohoo! This is certainly the time for it. I am glad that you will be able to treat with the new drugs. So many with transplants have had great success. You’ve got a lot of hope for the future dear friend!

      I will echo your thoughts: GET TESTED now!

      Thanks so much for stopping by and commenting.
      xo Karen:)

  10. I have hep c genotype 3 . To make a long story short i made bad decisions and was diagnosed in 2010 but i know i caught it in 2009. i am at stage 2 with moderate fatty liver.i have never been too overweight but have gained over 100lbs even though i do not over eat. i do not qualify for interferon because i have fibromyalgia . my doctors always divert the attention only to my weight as if to say there’s no hope for me only to lose the weight first. Its impossible for me to exercise i get vertigo and recently the found a 4 cm size mass in my right lung..before the could biopsy it i myself took some left over antibiotics and the doctors said they where amazed because it completely disappeared . so now sence i get bronchitis and asthma and pnuemonia. i have so many health problems i feel hopeless . Any news you could give me to help i would appreciate it greatly .

    1. Cherie,

      Please do not ever give up hope! There is always a way to get going again. It seems like you are caught in a cycle of not being able to begin exercising. I hope you will look at my exercise blogs. (You can access them from the checkered flag “Best Friends Start Here” icon on the home page) As a matter of fact, I sat in my chair and did some yoga this morning. It helps to feel like you are doing something to help yourself! Plus you just flat out feel better. It can ease the pain of fibromyalgia too.

      About treatment, Abbvie is getting ready to release the new interferon free meds soon. There are so many drugs in the works right now. Many of them only take 12 to 24 weeks. Then you can be HCV free! You won’t believe how much better you will feel. By exercising and eating well, you can do so much to prepare your body for treatment. Stage 2 is not such a bad thing when you realize that you can halt the progression of the damage.

      I loved reading about your mass disappearing. Miracles do happen. That is what we have to believe. I want to encourage you. Think about that word courage.. it means I am adding my courage to yours and cheering you on as you tackle on problem at a time. I hope that you will continue to read and gain hope from all of the success stories that others share.

      You can do this! Thank you so much for dropping by and commenting. I will hold you in my heart.
      xoxo Karen:)

    2. Cherie,

      My computer died and I got so behind on comments. Will you forgive me?
      I have responded on an email to your personal comment. Dear one, you have been through a lot. I am hoping that the new drugs will encourage your doctors to reconsider. I know many people with weight issues who have treated. That’s not fair for them to point at that.
      The lung issue is clearly a miracle! I’m so happy that that is NOT going to hold you back. There are stories of those who have been through treatment with fibromyalgia also.

      http://www.ohmyachesandpains is a website ran by Selena and she can probably offer you a lot of comfort and advice. Fibromyalgia is a hard thing to live with and has to be looked at WHILE you are dealing with treatment issues. Let me know if you need any other resources. I would be glad to help.

      Thanks so much and best of luck and love to you dear one. Hopeless? No, girl. Press on and you CAN get your life back.
      xo Karen:)

  11. Dear Karen your blog is very helpful at a time when there is not a lot of help, support or information about HCV
    So many people still think the only way you can get HCV is by IV drug use or a blood transfusion.
    I wish there was more knowledge, less ignorance.
    I am cured of HCV, have been cured for over 2 years. They do call it a cure now, it does not come back.
    Sharing your information is so important. To let people know that 75% of the people who have it do not know they have it.

    This is a lot like cancer, people did not talk about it at all. Then on to HIV and AIDS. Now, more people die from HCV than AIDS and people still do not understand how it is transmitted.
    Great job!
    Your friend

    1. Hay Girl!

      I hope you’re having a great summer! The blog has been a blast. I really did not know what I was doing at first. Just reaching out through cyber space. We had no clue when we started the first FDA approved drugs. I didn’t want people to sit alone in the dark wondering what was next, you know?
      I’ve met so many wonderful people at different stages of Hepatitis C. They come from many different backgrounds. You’re right, most people have no clue about Hepatitis C. I’m happy to be part of creating awareness through the blog and by being an advocate for those who are still waiting to treat. Also those who are like you and me learning to live with the effects of liver disease.
      The new diagnosis with liver cancer is a lot like the early days of learning I had Hepatitis C. Another learning curve. LOL. I can survive this too, right?
      Much love sister friend,
      xo Karen:)

    1. I think it’s all cleared up now. My computer was down. Actually, I had to go get a new one after my hard drive crashed. I hope you were able to get all the information that you need! If you have any more questions or comments, please feel free to drop by! I’m not working this fall and have a lot more time to devote to writing and working on the website!
      xo Karen:)

  12. Karen Hoyt
    I am 46 years old and I have chronic viral hep c genotype 1.I am in bad shape.I’ve been fighting my disability for almost 3 years.I have no insurance.I need treatments right away.can you help me .do you know someone that could .please email me privately or call me at any help would be greatly appreciated.

    1. Hay Pam,

      The best place I know of to look for treatments are through hcvadvocate. Alan Franciscus has a great website and it is the oldest one out there for Hepatitis C. He can point you in the right direction.

      Another thing is to look me up on Facebook. ihelpckaren. I have a ton of friends in forums who will welcome you and shine the light on your path. Stay in touch and let me know if you don’t find what you need that way. Where there is a will, there is a way! You can do this!
      xo Karen:)

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