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The Fallout Guide for Hep C: Passion

This is part four of a six-part series called The Fallout Guide for Hep C. Six emotional components of living with Hep C which are important to address to maintain our sense of self as we traverse the difficult hardships ahead. Read earlier installments on survival mode, support networks, and self-care.

Dance was a way for me to fight the symptoms, keep active and keep my emotional clarity, but it was not my passion.

Rage, requires temperance. And I cannot think of a more appropriate word for how I feel about hepatitis C (HCV) and the systemic societal issues which exacerbate those who already fight for their lives.

Channeling my anger

So for me, I channel my rage into creative outlets. Dance, writing, and ceramics are my typical outlets. Art is how I speak my rage to the world. I take this ugly thing inside of me and give it form so that I now control its fate.

I firmly believe that passion and rage go hand in hand. Which is why those outlets could only fulfill half of this feeling of impotence. It’s also key to remember that our own voice is important, especially in survival mode.

Advocating for myself and for others

In May of 2016, with five failed treatments, a MELD score of 28, and pre-cancerous nodules growing on my liver, I found myself advocating on behalf of government subcommittee budget items increasing the amount of money for hepatitis testing and other related items. Because if were not for my being a kid in the suburbs with parents who had insurance and a professional familiarity with modern medicine, I probably wouldn’t be here.

For me, advocacy is the only way I can truly fight this virus, because my own struggle is not enough. I must spread my story, so that my struggle can only help others, turning pain into power, It is my passion in every sense.

A renewed purpose in life

Having sat on the edge of my life, I found renewed purpose in doing more as my health improved. Since my transplant, I’ve been lucky enough to be interviewed at press conferences, TV spots, and in classrooms. I was honored at an American Liver Foundation event as a Liver Champion.

Why? Largely because of my transplant and my willingness to promote hepatitis C and liver disease awareness everywhere I go. You too can do this if you so desire, you already have the tools.

Obstacles may come

Before my transplant, every doc asked me what I intended on doing post-transplant.

I told them I want to get my MPH (Master of Public Health) to help ensure no one goes through what I did, and to help in the fight to eliminate viral hepatitis.

That fight is called #NoHep, and I must have repeated my plan to dozens of doctors and nurses because it helped me stand tall for laying in a hospital bed. In spite of multiple rejections from Masters in Public Health programs, I will never stop fighting for Public Health.

What’s your passion?

Find your passion, nurture it, and let it flower. It will guide your journey, however rough.

This article represents the opinions, thoughts, and experiences of the author; none of this content has been paid for by any advertiser. The team does not recommend or endorse any products or treatments discussed herein. Learn more about how we maintain editorial integrity here.