Charlotte Stewart is an avid traveler, hands-on grandmother, and active hepatitis C advocate. When she was diagnosed with hepatitis C in 1998 during a routine blood test, she was shocked. Although limited treatment regimens were available at the time, Charlotte tried five different regimens over the course of 15 years, but none were successful in making the virus undetectable in her body, or curing her of it, and some caused debilitating side effects.
In 1999, Charlotte began volunteering for the American Liver Foundation (ALF) in Memphis to learn more about hepatitis C and treatment options. After moving to Nashville in 2006, she got involved with the local ALF chapter and started a support group for others affected by the virus. When she later learned about a clinical trial for HARVONI, Charlotte enrolled for 12 weeks of treatment and was nearly in disbelief to see her viral load was undetectable at four weeks. It remained undetectable when measured three months after completing treatment, meaning Charlotte was finally cured.
Charlotte enjoys cooking, traveling, and spending time with her children and grandchildren. She remains active as a board member and volunteer with the ALF in Nashville and is also a member of the ALF's Hep C Patient Advisory Committee where she continues to draw on her experience to provide hope to others with the disease.
William was a long-distance truck driver for 38 years. One day in the early nineties, while waiting for cargo to be loaded onto the truck, he noticed a mobile blood drive and decided to pass the time by making a donation. Unbeknownst to him, his blood was routinely tested for several diseases. Weeks later, he received a letter informing him that he had hepatitis C, also known as Hep C. William isn't certain when or how he contracted the virus, but he wasn't surprised that he had it. He knew many people living with Hep C and, for a while, didn't care about having it. While William didn't experience any symptoms other than fatigue, his liver was slowly being damaged. He decided against treatment early on because he was fearful of the challenging side effects associated with the treatments at that time.
In 2015, over 20 years after he received the letter from the blood bank, William's Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) healthcare provider talked to him about the importance of getting treatment for his Hep C. While he wasn't completely convinced when the doctor told him he could be cured, he agreed to begin treatment. William took HARVONI for 12 weeks as prescribed, and at his post-treatment three-month checkup, the virus was undetectable in his blood—meaning he was cured. William was thrilled to be cured. His biggest surprise, though, was the overwhelming sense of relief he felt.
Now retired from the trucking industry, William works part-time as an entertainment producer. He lives in Cleveland, Ohio, and enjoys spending his free time with his grandchildren.