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Helping Others

Perhaps you are feeling better, cured and recovered from your treatment, and now you want to help others. Does this sound like you? Maybe you are still living with hepatitis C and you are able and willing to help others with your knowledge or your time.

What can you do to help?

There are some things you can do from the comfort of your home while some others require you get out and go to where you believe you can make your contribution most impactful. I understand that not every place where people live can offer up opportunities to act in the same way or on the same level. A question I think is important to ask oneself is whether you see where your special skills will fit and provide the best potential to help others. Having said that, if you want to do something unrelated to any expertise or knowledge you may have is a good approach also.

There is no rule that any of us must follow when considering this path, with one exception in my view; you really do want to help others. Some of us will only have a hour/week while others will devote 5 hours/day, and this depends on your ability to give of your time and we cannot base our own level of involvement solely on need because the need is greater than any one of us can fill. If you want to help one person with things like driving them to doctor appointments or shopping or similar activities which are a need for that one person, and may be someone you have never met or a close family member or member of your faith community, or other community groups.

Some of you may have formal education in the caring fields, and I welcome you to consider working in the area of both developing and providing programs and services for the broad HCV community. That work can take many forms and directions. One thing I have observed both as a “patient” and as an advocate is the need for more support for some segments of the community beyond a clinical setting. This can look as different as one can imagine because there is not one singular gap that needs to be met for such a diverse group of people faced with both living with and in being at risk for hep C.

I have been fortunate enough to be able to work directly with the HCV community for several years now, and it has been the single most important work I am engaged in. Speaking to people and listening (mostly) is what shapes what I then take to my job as an advocate.

The most important message I could ever give someone who is looking at embarking on a caring or helping endeavor/field, is to understand why you want to do this, whether as a volunteer or as a professional.
If it is for money, well you may find it a bit disappointing unless you plan to be a doctor or in very few other fields. At the core, at least to me, is that you really want to help others. This can be a difficult journey without question, but if you can do it I know you can make a difference in the lives of others by caring and helping, and we all have the capacity to help.

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.