Hi my name is Don, I served in the
U.S. Army from 1970 - 1973. I got out, lived my life, got married , had kids
etc... I never had any signs or symptoms that anything was wrong. In 1999 I had
to have some blood work because of Gastro (GERD) problems. I was told that there
were some abnormalities in my blood, after a retest the Dr. told me I had
Hepatitis C. I had a liver biopsy in 1999 that showed irreversible advanced end
stage cirrhosis due to Hep C, and that I had to have this disease for around 30
years to do this much damage. My genotype is 1b which means the Hep C that I
have is prominent in Europe and Asia, which ties in to my military service.
I have tried every med, interferon,
pegylated interferon, herbal remedies you can think of, but in my case nothing
worked. I am on the waiting list at the University of Wisconsin Hospital -
transplant dept. in Madison, Wisconsin. My wait time is estimated to be about 1
- 1 1/2 years. The doctors say that I could probably make it 2 years, but more
then that would be pushing it. I have a sister who is going through the process
of being evaluated as my donor, My sister is dead set on doing this if she is
able. I talked to her to let her know the risk's involved, but she doesn't care,
she wants to do it. I am truly blessed to have a sister who loves me enough to
put herself on the line for me.
I ask everyone to pray for my sister
to get through this operation without any complications. I in the mean time will
live day by day until I either get the transplant or pass away. I have a loving
wife, 2 daughters and 3 grandchildren in my immediate family who I will spend as
much time as possible with, and try to enjoy each day and cherish the memories.
For many years I have been a
workaholic, doing what's best for my company, and not taking the time off, to
enjoy my family and life. I realize now just how important life is, and how
important the choices we make are, you can never go back and regain parts of
your life, once time has past it is gone. My advice to everyone would be to
enjoy life, your family, and do things that make you laugh. do things that make
you happy. Even if you are sick these things can help you feel better inside. I
am willing to correspond with anyone who has Hep C or knows some one who has Hep
C, and just needs to talk. Thanks for listening.
Don M. Eberhard
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March 20, 2012