“I am a Hep Hero because I want to help people understand the need for tolerance and that everyone is entitled to a decent life”
I arrived from Scotland in 1971 as part of the British boy’s immigrant movement, with my green 3-piece suit and $23. I had just turned 17 years old and the adventure began. My family was back in Scotland and being on my own I fell into some bad company and got involved with heroin. By 1976 I had changed my life around and did not use intravenous drugs never again.
In 1994 I was diagnosed with hepatitis C and yet another journey began! About 2 years ago I decided to attend St. Vincent’s liver clinic and seek information to get rid of the virus. The only treatment option was to undertake the classic Interferon-based treatment, which I had heard lots about – particularly the harsh side effects associated with it. However, due to the possibility of new and most effective drugs in the horizon, I decided to wait.
I am now 61 years old and have been diagnosed with cirrhosis…and I’m still awaiting for the new treatments. I have a beautiful granddaughter who I’d like to see grow up and I also feel I still have a lot to contribute to society. It is for these reasons that I continue to be patient and try to stay positive… I will be able to get a cure soon.
Recently I decided to get more active in spreading the word, so I followed a friend’s advice to join Hepatitis Victoria (and Hepatitis Australia) as an advocate so as to inform others and help break down the stigma associated with hepatitis C.