Carlette Metcalf was always a healthy and active person. She regularly kayaked, trained and rode horses, and was a Cal Ripken baseball umpire.
However, in early 2012, she became ill. I couldn’t swim, I could hardly walk, my muscles were giving out, I dropped down to 85 pounds. “I was deteriorating, I was just wasting away,” Carlette described.
Carlette visited multiple doctors to try and learn the cause of her symptoms, but none were able to give her a diagnosis. In October 2012, she visited the Mayo Clinic, where she was finally diagnosed with chronic hepatitis C, a potentially life-threatening disease.
She believes she contracted the hepatitis C virus (HCV) while working in home hospice care. Because of her condition, Carlette was told that she was not a candidate for the treatments available at the time and that it was unlikely she would even survive.
Two years later, through her own research, she learned about a newly approved treatment that had a better chance of achieving a cure. Carlette asked her doctor if she could be put on the medication and started taking it.
In May 2014, after 12 weeks of treatment, a blood test showed the virus was no longer detectable. Today, Carlette works with the American Liver Foundation to raise awareness of hepatitis C and advocate for HCV patients. Carlette encourages anyone diagnosed with HCV to take it upon themselves to seek treatment and support.
“Be your own advocate. Listen to yourself, if you don’t understand things or you don’t know how to find things out, seek out an expert and ask a lot of questions.”
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