wo parents holding a child's hand at sunset

Children and Hep C

Parents with children who are being diagnosed with hep C have been reaching out to my foundation (The Bonnie Morgan Foundation for HCV) for direction as to what to do when a young child has hep C—asking if we can help them find information or other families struggling with the same health crisis.

As we know, hep C does not discriminate. It can affect any race, gender, and age. 

Rise of rate of children with hep C

Many, if not most, of these children are contracting hep C through their birth mothers, who were themselves positive for hep C. Because of the rise in opioid/iv drug use among the youth in our county, the adoption agencies are getting many children born with hep C and then being adopted out to new families.

I have seen this increase in number personally over the last six years. Hep C was originally brought into the public view via news, media, and literature stating that baby boomers need to be tested since they are at the primary age for being at risk. 

However, with the growing amount of IV drug addiction in the youth and young adults, we are seeing a huge incline of young children 1-5 years of age being diagnosed with hep C.

It is my personal opinion that we need to do more to help those families who are adopting children and later learn they have hep C. More media coverage possibly of the rise of hep C in children be broadcasted or magazine articles to help these families with direction as to exactly what we did when we first found out about hep C. 

Whether the adoption agencies have literature to help or doctors’ offices with pamphlets that just won’t leave pediatrics in the blind not knowing anything about hep C.

Supporting families

One of my foundation's private support groups is geared strictly toward the children of hep C. We connect parents and families who are facing hep C in their children together.  The same way, we have support for adults with hep C.

I am blessed with a great team, all of which have experience with hep C. One example is a young child given up for adoption and having hep C from which he contracted from his birth mom. 

This young boy went through harsh treatments only to fail and then be outcasted in school because of having hep C. He and his family fought so hard for him to be treated as any other child, and as soon as the clinical trial for hep C for children came out, they jumped at the chance to get him treated. 

I am so proud to say he has cleared the virus and is now a hep C-free teenager.  I am blessed to have gotten to see and be part of his journey.  His story and his family have touched my life in ways that we will forever be like family.

It is awful that anyone has to battle with hep C and all the side effects it does to a body, but I can’t imagine being 2-5 years of age and not being able to communicate how you feel properly with your family and doctor. This group is sharing ways by helping each other with ideas of how to get a 2-year-old to take the medication or ways to “trick” them into taking it. It helps them with just knowing they are not alone.

Let us keep those children in our prayers and their families as they manage through fighting hep C and treatments. Together we are strong!

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