two people are perched behind a dragon, greeting and waving to one another

Sharing the "Dragon" - Connecting with Other People Living with Hep C

A very personal story of mine has been meeting several others in the hepatitis C community. All of these people I have met through Facebook or by them reaching out to me through my foundation.

Searching for hepatitis C support

One was a very special lady I first met early 2007, about when I finally found an online support group of other people fighting hep C. She was the one who reached out to me, welcoming me to the group. From that moment, I felt this deep connection because she literally was the first person I met who also had hep C. A person who understood me; I was not alone anymore.

Connecting with other people with hep C

After starting my foundation, I met a family whose adopted son had hep C. I want to say he was about 4 maybe when I first met him (online) . This bond grew for me, as I never known any child to be fighting as hard as this little man was. He failed interferon, I believe, at 2 years old... it broke my heart. I know that interferon, for me, was pure Hell; I can’t imagine being his age and not able to convey in words this horrible feeling he was having.

Fast forward several years and after I cured on my clinical trial, this young man also under went a clinical trial for kids. I traveled to his home state back east and we did a foundation booth at their local fair; His family spoke out about hep C and the importance of getting tested.  He and I were resting under the canopy this afternoon and we got to sharing our story of hep C. He said, “Hey Kim, I beat the dragon”. I spoke up, “Yes you did buddy, I am so proud of you. I too beat the dragon.” His little eye lite up and he said “YOU DID?”. It was just like my first time finding my dear friend on Facebook. - that feeling of not being alone. I could see it in his eyes he felt comforted in knowing I understood him.

How hep C has shaped my life

I will say that to this day, this young man is a part of my heart and my life and I consider his family mine. The bond built through this has been life changing. There are good things that do come from bad things like hep C. I would never have met these beautiful friends all over the world if I had not had hep C. To me, that is priceless.

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