Becoming an Advocate for Health in the Russian Community: Gregori’s Story Hep C Story

Try to teach somebody:  they will resist.

Give to somebody advice: usually they will do the opposite.

Tell them your real life story: they might pay attention.

Here is my story. Most of the time, a successful business keeps up with inventory. Throughout my life, I kept up my health inventory pretty successfully: doing exercise, eating healthy, meditation…  I thought my health was under control, but in fact I had lost control of the Hepatitis C I got a long time ago through reuse of a needle during a medical treatment in Russia. I am thankful to my doctor who finally convinced me to take a blood test for Hepatitis C. Ops!!!! My virus was 10 times more active than normal – it was bad news. The decision had to be immediate action: go for treatment.

I went on treatment without any suspicion of how hard it would be. I lost my appetite, lost a lot of weight, lost interest in anything except to prove to myself that I am strong enough to go through this. I just really needed to meet people dealing with the same situation or condition now or in the past. But I couldn’t find any. Where were the other Russian people with Hepatitis C? Were they feeling the same thing?

I called the NYC Health Department 311 service for help and they guide me to the Hepatitis Program who guided me to a Hepatitis C support group in Manhattan. I started going to this group, which helped me get through my treatment time. Now, I want to send my message for those who are looking.

Keep your health inventory, it is your responsibility.
Never give up – know that help is around.
We will survive by helping each other.

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