Celebrating a Hero: My Mom's Battle with Hepatitis C

On May 5th 2006, Heaven gained an angel. This angel was my mom, Bonnie Morgan. She was a 1965 kidney transplant, and the first woman in the United States to give birth (to me) after a kidney transplant in 1968. Living with a chronic kidney disease her whole life, she had one wish, and that was to be a mother.

My mom's hep C symptoms

During my birth in 1968, we both were transfused with what we learned years later was tainted blood with hepatitis C. My mother was all of 4 ft 10 inches, a small figured woman with a heart and will of fire. She fought hard to give my family the normal life.  Having taken anti-rejection meds her whole life, after 35 years, this medication began to take a toll on her body. But also fighting all those years since my birth with hep C. Her liver was now being destroyed by hep C. We did not know at the time, but her nerve pain and muscle & joint pain was because of hep C. She endured several years of severe pain and still managed to have a smile on her face and good words to speak to others with.

Her treatment options

2005 was a tough year for both my mom and I, as we both were diagnosed with hepatitis C.  Back then, there was only one treatment – Interferon. This treatment was not an option for my mother who had been a kidney transplant patient now for 40 years. It was explained to her that this harsh treatment would shut down her transplanted kidney.  With that news, my mom had the option to have a liver transplant. She thought long and hard. This transplant would not CURE her hep C, only prolong her life. Without any treatment options, hep C would ravage the new liver. It was a difficult thing; I could only imagine what she was feeling. She sat me down and shared her decision of accepting the fate of hep C. She was fully aware this disease would end up taking her life by destroying in her liver. Seeing her in her final days, fighting the very disease I had, was very painful. I was beyond scared. I had two small children to live for, my companies to run, and seeing her slowly deteriorate and be in so much pain, I was struggling with the imminent fate.

My mom's legacy

It was early May that my mom and I shared what was to be our last conversation.  Tears flowing down our faces as we held hands. She said, “Kimberly Ann, you need to listen to mom here, you need to go on and fight this disease NOT WITHOUT A FIGHT... You do not give up or into this disease. You stay positive and FIGHT, honey”. Powerful words spoken to me, that has now became my foundations copy-written motto, “Not without a FIGHT ~HCV~” ©

I celebrate this day with both sadness in my heart because I miss her terribly, but also happiness and pride because she truly was the hero in my life. She gave me wisdom and words I carry with me that no matter what my health diagnosis come up I can face them head on and NOT WITHOUT A FIGHT!

I miss you, mom. May your fight always be remembered, and our foundation continue to bless others with help and positive light. Your fight lives on in all those we touch with the foundation. “Not without a FIGHT! ~HCV~ ©”

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