It has been almost five years since many of my fellow Coloradoans and I were wondering if we would be okay, if we would live. I had learned of my hepatitis C diagnosis months earlier than the others, as I was symptomatic, most of the victims were not. I kept asking how this could happen to me, all the while fearing that it wasn’t just me suffering. I feared for my future. I feared for the future of my daughter, Lucy, who was just one year old. A few months later, in July 2009, we learned that Kristen Parker, one of three known drug diverters in recent years to infect patients, had been the source of this deadly disease. Thousands of letters went out to patients who may have come into contact with Kristen and therefore put into harms way.
Unbeknownst to me at the time, I was following in the very brave footsteps of Evelyn McKnight and HONOReform. So with the support of some vital people, I tried to make a difference. I could not stay silent. I spoke to media and told my story and the story of the outbreak. I tried to put a name and a face to this tragedy, as some of the victims were too ill to speak out for themselves. Soon some Colorado lawmakers approached me to work with them to help make some real changes. And we did! I am proud of the two bills that were passed in 2010 HB 1414, concerning the reporting Identity in Injectable Drug Diversion (Benefield/Foster) http://tornado.state.co.us/gov_dir/leg_dir/olls/sl2010a/sl_338.htm and
HB 1415, Sunrise Surgical Tech Registration (Gagliardi/Morse) http://tornado.state.co.us/gov_dir/leg_dir/olls/sl2010a/sl_339.htm.