News

Abbotsford woman helps raise awareness about hepatitis

Erica Thomson is working to raise awareness about preventing and treating hepatitis. - Submitted photo
Erica Thomson is working to raise awareness about preventing and treating hepatitis.
— image credit: Submitted photo

When Erica Thomson entered into an Abbotsford treatment centre for intravenous drug use in 2010, she went through the necessary blood tests for blood-borne pathogens.

When the test revealed she had hepatitis C, Thomson, who had been aware of the risk but didn’t have much information about the disease, feared for whether her daughter could contract the illness.

“I thought somehow I had given it to her. I didn’t have a lot of information, and neither did my (general practitioner).”

Hepatitis C is a chronic liver disease that impacts about 73,000 people. It can be contracted through blood transfusions, unsterilized tattoo equipment or by sharing tainted needles. It can lead to severe liver damage.

Thomson was relieved her daughter didn’t have the illness. But despite the idea that only high-risk individuals can contract hepatitis C, Thomson said she feels it is important for anyone getting blood work done to ask for the two-part test. She said she has met people who have no idea how they’ve contracted the illness and don’t fall into risk categories.

After experiencing exhaustion and other symptoms through her illness, Thomson has since been cured through treatment.

Thomson is now an HIV/hepatitis C outreach worker in Abbotsford, helping to educate and provide harm reduction to those in need. She is also a member of the Pacific Hepatitis C Network board, where she hopes to raise awareness to the general public and reduce the stigma.

The network is a non-profit that woulds to support people with hepatitis C by encouraging prevention, testing, treatment and care. The organization is raising awareness that Monday, July 28 is World Hepatitis Day. For more visit www.pacifichepc.org.

We encourage an open exchange of ideas on this story's topic, but we ask you to follow our guidelines for respecting community standards. Personal attacks, inappropriate language, and off-topic comments may be removed, and comment privileges revoked, per our Terms of Use. Please see our FAQ if you have questions or concerns about using Facebook to comment.

You might like ...

B.C. lawyers vote to overturn Trinity Western law school recognition
 
COLUMN: Preserving a free country from within
 
Operation Red Nose: Home safely for hundreds
Metro Vancouver steps back from imposing garbage export ban
 
Charges laid in fatal Surrey stabbing
 
COUNCIL ROUNDUP: More youth encouraged to voice opinions on downtown
Optimism after meeting in Victoria to discuss Willoughby school challenges
 
Election 2014: Surrey councillor candidates take on questions
 
Thoughts of joy

Community Events, October 2014

Add an Event

Read the latest eEdition

Browse the print edition page by page, including stories and ads.

Oct 29 edition online now. Browse the archives.