New Dating Website for Hep-C Singles September 14, 2003
Dear Fellow Heppers,
In May of 2002, at the age of 46, I was to
receive a shocking phone-call and a diagnosis that would dramatically
change my life. But, what started as a negative situation
soon turned into many positive ones. I am hoping that my story
will inspire people in several ways.
My name is Robin DeLuca and I am a single
mom of a 17-year old son, living in New York and.living with
the Hepatitis C Virus. In fact, I'd been living with this
virus for many years but it was overlooked and undiagnosed
(by those in the medical profession) throughout those years.
My liver is now in stage 3, grade 3 Hepatitis C, advanced
stage fibrosis (the stage immediately before Cirrhosis) and
if I had been properly diagnosed years earlier, my liver would
be in a much healthier state.
It is shocking how ignorant the medical community
is about Hepatitis C and how uninformed is the general public-at-large.
There are over 5.8 million people living with Hepatitis C,
in the U.S. alone, and only about 5% of these people even
know they have it. There are approximately 100 - 120 million
people worldwide living with this virus. It is four times
more prevalent than the Aids Virus and is called "The
Silent Killer" because most people are not aware they
have it until it is too late (I found out quite by accident)!
Although I believe I contracted this virus through two blood
transfusions received in 1985, this virus can be transmitted
through something as seemingly harmless as a manicure at a
Due to the negligence of the medical community
and because I went undiagnosed for so many years, I dangerously
exposed my son to this virus but with a great sigh of relief,
he did not contract it. I have however, come to know of unfortunate
situations where parents have passed this virus onto their
children (because the parent was not properly diagnosed since
the virus was discovered in 1992 - and all it takes to discover
the virus is a simple blood test!). By heightening public
awareness, I would hope we could avoid such dreadful situations
in the future.
Currently (and for the past year) I am taking
weekly injections of Interferron to try to reverse my liver
damage (In total, I am on 13 various medications.) Thus far,
I am considered a "non-responder" to the treatment
but continue to try with the help of my doctor, Dr. Melissa
Since being diagnosed, one of the positive
situations that came about was that I started a website for
singles living with Hepatitis C called www.HepCMatch.com
. The site offers friendship, support and the hope of love
and romance for singles living with Hepatitis C. I have received
innumerous letters from members, thanking me for starting
such a site. ( www.HepCMatch.com
is rapidly growing and I have members registered from as far
as Punjab, India.)
I am hoping that you and your radio show
will share in my passion and the urgency needed in spreading
the word about Hepatitis C, how it is transmitted and the
devastating affects it can have. Also, the Hep C Singles site
I have created is a much-needed site for those of us living
with this disease. There is still so much ignorance about
the disease and unfortunately a horrible stigma attached.
Peace, health and best,
P.S. I have also recently become a volunteer
for the New York Organ Donor Network (http://www.nyodn.org)
and will be speaking publicly about the dire need for organ
donors. Just one donor can save or improve up to 50 lives
through organ and tissue transplants!