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David's Story


Hi my name is David Levine, I am a single father and I suffer from hep-c this is my story or at least a short version of it. I was born in 1956 and had a good childhood, at age 11 I learned to play the guitar then in the late sixties I found the party scene. Man this was for me. I was one of those life of the party people, I lived for it. Then in 1975 I joined the navy and got my first tattoo in a professional shop. After that I started getting tattoos in garages from people that never used clean tattoo guns, we all just lined up and got what ever we asked for.

Then in1979 i tried injectable drugs I knew right away that that was not for me but i did it another three times anyways, but after that I stopped I knew that i was not on this planet to be a junky after all I had parties to go to and women to meet and being a guitar player I was going to make it big (of course that never happened) But I had fun trying.

Then in 1983 I decided to try and settle down, But that was not to be. Not until I met kris in 1984. We still partied but not like before and eventually we stopped and everything was set to be great, We went on living our lives thinking about how many bullets we had dodged i.e. aids, std's and whatever else might be out there. Then in 1991 on September 11 we had our son Taylor and life was as good as it gets until the bombs started dropping on us.

In 1996 my wife was diagnosed with lung cancer she was 37 years young, (from smoking).They told us it was inoperable. she fought the good fight ,she gave everything she had to fight the cancer, she fought for her life, she fought for me and our four children. But on January 31,1998 she lost her fight with cancer. Two of our children (from her previous marriage) were already grown. I was left to raise two sons on my own. I had one son from my previous marriage (age 14) and one son that we had together (age 6).

Now let me go back to when I was diagnosed. In 1997 I went in for my forty-thousand mile / 40 year which ever comes first check up. they checked everything and found hep-c. My wife who was still alive at that time insisted I do everything possible to make sure that I would be alive so that I could raise our son. She knew her time was short. So I stopped drinking and started eating healthy. I promised my wife that I would be here for the kids as long as I could and that I would do everything possible to stay healthy and give Taylor as normal a life as could be. It was very scary raising a six year old by myself. There were so many scary things to worry about...what if he gets a fever what if this or that happens, all the what if's.

So I went to see a specialist (keep in mind that there really were no specialist on hep-c back then) any ways they did a biopsy and found that I had moderate damage to my liver. I had never had any symptoms of hepatitis of any kind. I asked how can I have moderate damage and no symptoms. My doctor gave me the "it affects everyone differently" answer which is true to a degree I guess. He told me that I would probably die of old age before the hepatitis c killed me, Because I was very healthy EXCEPT for that little hep-c thing.

They put me on the interferon which did not work for me, Then they tried the interferon/ribaviron which put me in hospital not once but twice and it almost killed me.The second time my doctor told me to stop and never take it again. MY thoughts (DUH !! ) LOL. I was a total non responder. Then I lost my health insurance. And when I tried to reapply they told me that I had a preexisting condition and they would not be able to insure me.

So I went back to the drawing board...being self employed I signed up thru a small business pool, They told me it would cost me 536.00 a month. So I wrote them a check for three months, they cashed the check and promptly sent me a notice saying that they could not insure me because I have a pre existing condition. Which I told them to begin with? So I called them and said ..BUT you already cashed my check,They said they would send me a refund in a month. REAL NICE. So now I am without insurance or a doctor and I am starting to feel more tired now and more aches and pains...I know it is the hep-c calling me and I am fighting all the way.

My kids are all grown except the youngest he is 12 now. And no matter what happens I must make it until he is an adult. I asked the lord everyday to please give me at least until my son is grown....He doesn't deserve to lose both parents as a child. No child does. Thank you for reading.


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    Page last updated: September 21, 2003

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