Petra Hoffman

Let me begin by saying that one of the best things that has ever happened to me, is the fact that I was diagnosed with hepatitis C almost two years ago now.

I say that for a couple of reasons. One, is that now I know what has been wrong with me for quite some time now, and that it is not in my head, or a figment of my imagination. It allows me now, to be sick, when I am sick, instead of trying not to be, because I feel guilty. The other reason, is that since my initial diagnosis, I have put a higher value on life, and the world around me. I think that it is the first time I have seen many things.

I look at everything and everyone from a different angle now. For that, I am grateful.

I was not sure if I wanted to lay my life bare for all to see, and for all to know about. I have put my entire life and career on hold, and willingly have sacrificed it all. I’ve decided to go ahead with this because it is a way for me to get it out, and I hope to help others go through their journeys with less pain and embarrassment than necessary. It is my deepest desire to create public awareness and to educate mankind about hepatitis B and C. I truly believe that in order to raise awareness, we, the people who do know that we have it, must bypass the stigma, and lose the embarrassment, in order to help more people that do not as yet know that they are infected. We are the ones who have the knowledge, and it must be shared. It will take too long to rid ourselves of the stigma, and in BC alone there are upwards of 300 new cases every day. I beseech every one of you, to stand beside me in this campaign to educate the public. We need you to be strong and to be brave.

We need your voices, and we need your faces, as I cannot do this alone.

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