My mom had Hepatitis C for a couple of decades. She had no idea how she got it and found out about it when donating her blood. She tried different treatments to cure it in the 1990's but they did not work. In December of 2010, my mom found out she had liver cancer. The doctors told us that there was no hope for her and she died, at home, March 9, 2011. She was 58 years old.
My mom was a wonderful woman who showed love to all who came into her life. The truth is that many people in America are walking around with Hepatitis C without knowing it. More and more people are going to find out, most likely when their symptoms have progressed to a dangerous point. This is a silent epidemic in our nation that has not gotten the coverage that is needed. No matter how someone contracted Hepatitis C, they do not need our judgement or our jokes. They need education, treatment and support. Our family was not aware of the signs of liver cancer, nor was my mother getting checked for it on a routine basis. It was too late for her. Also, researchers continually get closer to finding a cure and better treatments for Hepatitis C.
I want Hepatitis C to get the respect that AIDS has gained in our community. It is not funny- our loved ones are dying! The two jokes I am referring to were on the shows "Up All Night" on NBC and "2 Broke Girls" on CBS. I want CBS and NBC to no longer allow these jokes in their sitcoms and to be at the forefront of raising awareness of Hepatitis C and encouraging everyone to get tested. Thank you!
Update: Saturday, March 2, NBC allowed SNL to use Hepatitis C as a punchline.