For the past six months I have been running on empty (see “Running on empty,” Sept. 9, 2010). In April, the 11th, I lost my wife of 35 years, Karen. When she was young she was infected with Hep C (HCV). She got over it and met me and we had 12 children together. We lived an interesting and adventurous life between Alaska and Panama. Last summer, Karen started having digestive troubles, and by Christmas ’09 she was real sick. After an MRI and other tests were done in Mexico we discovered she had cancer of the liver, cirrhosis, and it was so far along that she was not a candidate for a transplant or even chemotherapy. It was just too late. We had taught all our kids to read and write and thought we were educated ourselves, but we were not. Karen’s Hep infection at 17 was never understood. We did not realize it was HCV and what it could do to her in later life.
Thanks for writing about important issues. I wish we would have read an article like this just a few years ago. We lived in Alaska for almost 20 years, where I wrote two weekly columns for the Fairbanks Daily News-Miner and a monthly Sunday column for the Anchorage Daily. I wrote for about 15 years and know the value of good journalism. Keep up the good work. I will look forward to reading more.