Get A Job – Get A Life! (Hepatitis C / Liver Transplant (Hep C) HCV Blog)

Thursday, 30 December 2010

Hi Folks,

For what seems like forever, I have been saying “Once I’m better, I’ll be able to…”! What? Get back to normal? Carry on like nothing ever happened? Put it all behind me?

Well, the first two of those (get back to normal & carry on like nothing ever happened!!!) will never happen. It’s not that I’ve let the genie out of the bottle and it doesn’t want to go back in, you understand. But more like some weird ‘TV soap plot’ that I could never have imagined would ever happen in real life, was unleashed on me & my family.

I can remember (way back when…) having to endure an episode of ‘Eastenders’ that Mandy had been watching. Some particular piece of torrid drama unfurled on one unfortunate character and I said “Why does that always happen on these types of programme? Anyone who ever seems to be doing well gets hit by some kind of personal tragedy. It’s so pessimistic and depressing (& predictable!). It doesn’t always have to happen like that and it certainly doesn’t in real life!” – WRONG!

Okay, so it happens! And it happened to me. Yes, I’ve still got the virus, and yes, some days I feel like crap. But I did for many years prior to my transplant without even realising it. And once I did I kept on working up until about four or five months before my transplant. I was working fifteen hour days with an hour or so travel time either side, to and from work, for six days a week! That was until my employer found out I had HepC and that I had not declared it! I was suspended from work immediately. After all sorts of inquiries and tribunals I was told I was allowed to return to work but under a final written warning! “Erm, let me think about that for a moment, er, thanks but no thanks. Don’t call me, I’ll call you!”

But now I need to get to my third point “Once I’m better… I’ll put it all behind me!” Okay, so I’m not completely better but I need to move forward with my life and that is what has been ‘bothering’ me lately.

As you may have read in ‘How Do I Define Myself?’ that for me – ‘I am what I do’ so to speak. Now, more than ever, I need to go back to work.

But would you hire this man? After an ugly split with the company I sold my business to but with whom I was under contractual agreement (because of my HepC)? Bad credit history because this forced me to declare bankruptcy (because of my HepC)? Pushed out of a job by my last employer for whom I was working  (because of my HepC)? Not worked for over a year (because of my HepC)? Just returning to work after a Liver Transplant (because of my HepC)? And STILL has HepC!!! Now, I was an employer for many years and I wouldn’t hire me! You get my point.

So folks, if you’ve been in this kind of situation or something like it, and I’m sure there are others like me reading this, what do you suggest? What do I say when I get asked at interview “Tell me about yourself, what have you been doing up until now”? What do I write on the ubiquitous application forms when they ask about ‘time off sick’? And do I declare my HepC? Especially when I know I’ll never get the job if I do.

The thing is, I moved on once before in my life, when things weren’t going well, as many of us have who contracted this virus - because of a ‘dubious’ past. I put it all behind me, moved on with my life etc etc. I was even making a real success of things until one day out of the blue, I got sick. I don’t want to feel like I’m going backwards. I don’t want to stand still. But I’m also scared as hell that if I do move forward it will happen all over again.

Don’t get me wrong, it’s not all ‘doom & gloom’ here. I generally have a positive outlook on life. I always said that I would use this ‘second chance’ as an opportunity to switch careers (especially as going back into catering with HCV would be difficult) and do something that I really wanted to do. The problem is, I’m not quite sure now what that is and there just aint the jobs out there that there once was. I do keep getting calls to go for interviews because my CV etc looks quite good, but it makes no mention of my HepC nor my recent’ish history. So I go to the meetings and that’s the end of that. Surely there has got to be ONE job out there somewhere…? So any help or answers right now would be real helpful.

Take care everyone…. Ian

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Ian Quill : My World - A blog for me and people like me, beating HepC (Hepatitis C / Liver Transplant (Hep C) HCV Blog)

Wednesday, 29 December 2010

"A blog for me and people like me, beating HepC"

Hi, I'm a Hepatitis C sufferer and have been for about 25 years or so, unbeknown to me!

The virus became 'active' a few years ago and I was diagnosed sometime after that. Unfortunately my liver was already too badly damaged to undergo traditional treatments.

Since that time my health deteriorated until I had a Full Liver Transplant at St Jimmy's in Leeds, however the HepC still remains!

This is my story about my fight with the virus until I beat it or it beats me... and so far I'm winning!

I hope that what I write here may help others who battle daily with HCV and also for those who face, or have faced the 'highs & lows' of an Organ Transplant.

I have an eye for the unusual, a love of philosophical and political humour and enjoy nothing more than good, old fashioned 'Mickey' taking! I write my blog mainly to amuse me, but also to let people know what hep c is and what it's like to live with.

Please click on the links on this site for the Hep C Trust, Hep C Nomads and others, whom I have relied on for information, help and support - and without whom, I would not be here today.

I hope you enjoy reading my by blog and maybe even find it amusing and enlightening!

Keep well everyone... Ian

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Comments & Replies on “One Year On – It’s the Piece it Takes Away” (Hepatitis C / Liver Transplant (Hep C) HCV Blog)

Considering I haven’t written in a while, I got some great feedback from my last posting, not just direct to my blog but also by email and through Hep C Forums (such as Hep C Nomads and the Hep C Friends. It was always good to know that help is still out there when I needed it most.

I decided, unusually, to post their responses and my replies. These answers helped me sit and think about what it was that seems to be the problem that I’m currently trying to circumnavigate. They seem to have worked too, but I’m not going to jump into that now but try and express it in my next post.

Thanks to all who wrote, I hope you can throw further light on the trials & tribulations that I write about and that all those with HCV face.

Nanakoosa wrote - “Another great post. It feels like we do become so consumed within this disease, either being sick, or on treatment or waiting for a transplant that those things begin to define who we are. I like to remind myself to say I'm an unemployed Social worker, or an aspiring writer, but in the back of my mind is always the thought (or I will be after treatment). That phrase, "after treatment", or in your case "after the transplant" carries a lot of weight...and uncertainty. It seems like that's where you are now, in the great unknown where it's time to fill in the blank that follows the "after" phrase. I'm the kind of person who believes that if we keep an open heart and mind and take one day at a time, our path will eventually become clear. Problem is sometimes it takes longer than we'd like! Wishing you a Happy New Year, Jenny

Pixie of Hep C Nomads wrote – “Thanks Ian and gives us a good insight as to the journey you have been on.....It seems not everything is clear cut regarding the HCV, even post tx members are saying they are not the same, though there are good positives stories as well as the negative.

Hope you don’t mind me asking you some things..? Do you think the "adventurer" in you has gone because of the worry of rejection once you have had a transplant; is this foremost in your mind? I know those living with the virus worry about Viral loads, those on tx just worry and post tx many say they feel different, those SVR still worry the virus might come back, it seems we are never free of the worry of it all? I am glad you are alive and kicking one year on and believe you will find the jewel your seeking...PX

MY REPLY TO Pixie “Gosh Pixie, Hard to say, rejection yes, I suppose it is. And now that I can come forward I get the same old question of "what have you been doing with yourself the last year or so" you start by not just telling them about the transplant, it's then telling them about the hepC which casts a light on your past and so on and so on. By the time you've finished, you've knocked any kind of confidence you may have had out the window. I was saying to Nanakoosa earlier that 'I haven't hit the nail on the head' yet with this post, but this is why I write it down (&share it) to try and throw up the answers. Kind of healing and kind of exploration I suppose. Good to 'talk' with you again Pixie, take care x”

And Pixie replied - “Ian, I cant imagine the feelings a transplant would give you, I could talk till the cows come home about the overwhelming feelings of living with this virus and how it changed me, but a transplant ???...going into theatre just not knowing, waking up and you must feel fragile having a new organ that’s keeping you alive...over whelming. I just cant imagine it, your bound to feel different, I expect some people do just grab life and live it to the full? Taking everyday risks perhaps? But yes I believe your never quite the same afterwards – Pixie

Karentaliesin from Nomads wrote “Hi Ian, Good to hear from you, and for sharing these thoughts of yours and feelings, I guess when I read it I take my own slant on it, but I throw it out for you to peruse, coming face to face with our immortality and sort of beating it we think the whole world and its wife is gonna become different, we are so focused on that, and when its all done, we find we are obviously physically different, we are not the person that we thought we would return to being, even if we have been granted far better health than before , or for many life but with extras, and somewhere we are left hunting for meaning, why am I here, what is it for, and we still don’t have answers to those questions and somehow I think in our struggles for health we somehow think we will come out of it with that knowledge, and we don’t. We are the same ole person with the same old stuff, if not a bit more thrown in from the knowledge of how fragile life is, and we know we are supposed to love it and live it, all the things escaping death we expect should give us, and it doesn’t, if we didn’t know before the story then we have the same head that doesn’t know it after!! and that can lead to a pretty dark hole for some, and after major illnesses’ it is quite common for people to lose their joy in life, (depression or hard times) our fragility is quite frightening and beyond our comprehension or even ability to control safely, adventuring becomes quite fearful, because none of us actually want our mortality to end, but neither do we know how to live it in a way that makes it seem like its got a point; so I suggest you’re having some serious questions going on inside you about the world the universe and all that jazz, the hole that need or wants filling, and how do you do that is the Question, the melancholy, why am I here, or what’s the point? Or whichever way it comes out for you: Maybe you have just become aware of the human condition because all the distractions have actually been taken away, this too shall pass, so there ya go that’s my take on it for you to think about, or play with, take care Ian, always great to hear from you, love - Karen xx”

Eva wrote (http://evaday.blogspot.com) – “Ian, That was so great to read. I have thought of you often and yes particularly during the "missing bit” you mention. Yes I actually do remember the ‘Brand New Me’ Post (though wouldn't have recalled name of it till you mentioned it again) and have found your story amazing. And bravely done and well told - which I am sure will be a great contribution to others in same boat.... I am sure you will gain good new navigation skills Ian, you seem to have inbuilt instinct for it.... very well done to you for coming through all this as you have and always good to hear from you - will look out for any updates. Wish you good health and happy time’s xx – Eva

Tina of HCV New Drugs ( http://hepatitiscnewdrugs.blogspot.com ) wrote – “May you find your way brave Ian”


And finally Bethland at Hep C Freinds wrote – “Hi Ian, I love your stuff...I used to see you on facebook and your blog when I first started treatment. Love and Peace to you in the new world – Elizabeth”

Once again, thanks to all who commented.

Take care everyone…. Ian

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One year on, A Strange New World... (Hepatitis C / Liver Transplant (Hep C) HCV Blog)

Monday, 27 December 2010

On this run up to the New Year and with Christmas just behind us, as with many people, it has prompted me to sit back and take stock of the year and to cast my mind back over the highs' and lows' of 2010 and where I have got to....

In some ways this has been a truly remarkable year. Not many people I suppose can say they did so much and yet did so little at the same time. And I doubt there are many people who would've traded places with me either.

But as the log fire starts to die, worn out kids are now in bed and the Christmas tree has started to wilt and fade I feel a sense of melancholy that I'm forced to give air.

I could only remember how last year as we were doing the same thing, that I was constantly wondering if this would be the last time I would get to view this special treat. I use the word 'view' because all though I was present and joining in as best I could, I couldn't say that I was whole heartedly enjoying this Christmas 'scene' because of the turmoil which at this point was raging in my head.

All the questions lashed to their own worry that were being tossed all around my brain like pieces of a wrecked ship being battered against the rocks, constantly pushing to the front of my mind on each wave of fear and wondering if these final pieces that I had been clinging to were now bobbing around in the foam; their fate too close to danger to call.

Maybe this sounds like I'm over-dramatising but I can honestly say that this was how I felt. With hindsight, the waters were much calmer than I was reading them and my 'ship' stayed afloat. Though the HepC had just about finished off my own liver, I got the call from St Jimmy's at about eight p.m. on January 28th and the following morning I had a full Liver Transplant.

What I will say for anyone who may be facing the same treatment that I was hoping for back then, is this; the hardest part of having this kind of operation is your own state of mind beforehand. It seems easy for me now to say that I shouldn't have put myself through that worry and neither should anyone else in the same situation but I did, and others will. The operation is the easy part; it's the 'not knowing' and the 'will it happen in time' that gets' ya every time.

But those of you who followed my blog back then know that relatively speaking, once it happened, I breezed through the Op without too much difficulty and my recovery after seemed fairly speedy. Then you may also have noticed that six months or so after I seemed to drop off the radar a bit and I suppose it's this 'bit' that I'm talking about now. The 'bit' that I seem to have lost and I'm trying to get back to.

I don't know if it's because of all the pain killing opiates and steroids that you get pumped full of after the op (and I aren't complaining here) and all the other types of medication for this and for that, but for the first few months you feel like your on a natural high (though it's anything but natural). Or it could be the 'new' liver that has revitalised the 'new you' or as I suspect, a combination of both; that the first six months, barring any complications and the initial 'soreness' are nothing short of fantastic! It sounds crazy but it's true! I even wrote in 'Brand New Me' (Feb '09) that it was 'the most life enriching experience I'd ever had!'

Strong words indeed and I suppose that although I never ended up on the 'rocks' that I had been fearing a year ago, I do feel now that somehow I have ended up sort 'washed' up on the shore. I am still alive; but I'm not the person I once was. No longer the foolhardy adventurer running along on any breeze I can find, no more the captain of my own ship; all that has been washed away. The experience has left me clinging to the shore looking for a new life, fearful of what has gone behind.

I hope that in this place that I have landed I can find a new way to live. Who knows, maybe the best is yet to come and somewhere here I'll find a new 'jewel' to prize. But for now this is a strange new world that I'm learning to navigate and will be for some time to come; or at least until I learn how to come to my own rescue again.

Take care everyone.... Ian

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A Merry Christmas To All!

Saturday, 25 December 2010


I just thought I'd pop this up 'cos it looks nice and say Merry Christmas everybody and if I don't get chance again - Have a Happy & Healthy New Year.

Take care everyone.... Ian

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Merry Christmas Miss Spanky, I'm the Teachers Pet

Friday, 17 December 2010

Gosh! I was watching the breakfast news this morning, as we were running around (late as usual) trying to get the kids ready for school, with the usual pandemonium that it causes when I noticed the following article.

The reporters on the 'sofa' in the studio started with this: "It seems that giving presents from some children to classmates at Christmas time has reached new heights with some parents spending as much as £50 on gifts. For more on this we go over too....."

WHAT? FIFTY QUID to spend on pressiess to give to my kids classmates for gifts...EACH? WTF! You've gotta be kidding, right? Wrong!

Of course it had to be in London because that's the only place that's got that kind of money left in these austere times AND no-one outside of the capital would do anything so bloody ridiculous.

Anyway, as it turns out the 'special report' of course did come from a school in London (Can you imagine asking a Yorkshireman for that kind of dough?) but it went onto say that some parents were also going out and buying gifts for the Teacher. Gifts that were quoted were stuff like jewellery, cashmere clothing and reported that one teacher even received a holiday in Spain - Gift wrap that, I dare ya...

As the report ended and cut back to the studio, they revealed two ladies on the 'sofa', one was from 'Mumsnet.com' - that collection of southern-centric Yummy Mummy Wannabe's which if you ask me is an updated 'Women’s Institute' for the digital age. And another lady who turned out to be a (London Based) Teacher: and then they started to talk about the social etiquette of what is and isn't acceptable for buying Gifts for the Teach! OMG - what was I listening too? Apparently it's OK for Mum's to get together and put say, a fiver in each to buy say, gardening equipment for the Teach! WTF!

Well this left me with a dilemma as today was the last day of term and obviously I hadn't bought anything for the kids’ teacher.

Not wanting to be 'outdone' by those bloody southners I vowed to do something about this modern day dilema. So during the day I hunted round the house for a pressie I could hand over to the expectant teacher when I picked the kids up - well teachers watch breakfast TV News too!

And then I remembered it, something I'd bought Mandy (my wife) on the spur of the moment and didn't think she would really go for once I got home and thought about it. Now Okay, it might not be the perfect gift but teachers also have private lives' too ya know!

It was a very skimpy, 100% polyester, one size fits all, Miss Spanky the Naughty Teacher Outfit! Gift wrapped too.

And so as I pulled up at the school gates, searched for my little cherubs and got them 'strapped in' the back of the car, I grabbed the Pressie, marched up to the kids teacher who had been overseeing the kids leaving time and said "MR Burton, Merry Christmas, I got you a little something that I thought you might be able to use. I do hope you like it!"

Take care everyone.... Ian

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`The truth will always win’ - Julian Assange writes

`The truth will always win’ - Julian Assange writes


Tuesday, December 07, 10 (11:26 pm)

Wikileaks founder Julian Assange wrote this Op-Ed for The Australian today:

Key lines:

* WikiLeaks is fearlessly publishing facts that need to be made public.

* The dark days of corruption in the Queensland government before the Fitzgerald inquiry are testimony to what happens when the politicians gag the media from reporting the truth.

* (My idea is) to use internet technologies in new ways to report the truth.

* People have said I am anti-war: for the record, I am not. Sometimes nations need to go to war, and there are just wars.

* The Gillard government (Australia) is trying to shoot the messenger because it doesn’t want the truth revealed.

Text follows:

IN 1958 a young Rupert Murdoch, then owner and editor of Adelaide’s The News, wrote: “In the race between secrecy and truth, it seems inevitable that truth will always win.”

His observation perhaps reflected his father Keith Murdoch’s expose that Australian troops were being needlessly sacrificed by incompetent British commanders on the shores of Gallipoli. The British tried to shut him up but Keith Murdoch would not be silenced and his efforts led to the termination of the disastrous Gallipoli campaign.

Nearly a century later, WikiLeaks is also fearlessly publishing facts that need to be made public.

I grew up in a Queensland country town where people spoke their minds bluntly. They distrusted big government as something that could be corrupted if not watched carefully. The dark days of corruption in the Queensland government before the Fitzgerald inquiry are testimony to what happens when the politicians gag the media from reporting the truth.

These things have stayed with me. WikiLeaks was created around these core values. The idea, conceived in Australia , was to use internet technologies in new ways to report the truth.

WikiLeaks coined a new type of journalism: scientific journalism. We work with other media outlets to bring people the news, but also to prove it is true. Scientific journalism allows you to read a news story, then to click online to see the original document it is based on. That way you can judge for yourself: Is the story true? Did the journalist report it accurately?

Democratic societies need a strong media and WikiLeaks is part of that media. The media helps keep government honest. WikiLeaks has revealed some hard truths about the Iraq and Afghan wars, and broken stories about corporate corruption.

People have said I am anti-war: for the record, I am not. Sometimes nations need to go to war, and there are just wars. But there is nothing more wrong than a government lying to its people about those wars, then asking these same citizens to put their lives and their taxes on the line for those lies. If a war is justified, then tell the truth and the people will decide whether to support it.

If you have read any of the Afghan or Iraq war logs, any of the US embassy cables or any of the stories about the things WikiLeaks has reported, consider how important it is for all media to be able to report these things freely.

WikiLeaks is not the only publisher of the US embassy cables. Other media outlets, including Britain ‘s The Guardian, The New York Times, El Pais in Spain and Der Spiegel in Germany have published the same redacted cables.

Yet it is WikiLeaks, as the co-ordinator of these other groups, that has copped the most vicious attacks and accusations from the US government and its acolytes. I have been accused of treason, even though I am an Australian, not a US, citizen. There have been dozens of serious calls in the US for me to be “taken out” by US special forces. Sarah Palin says I should be “hunted down like Osama bin Laden”, a Republican bill sits before the US Senate seeking to have me declared a “transnational threat” and disposed of accordingly. An adviser to the Canadian Prime Minister’s office has called on national television for me to be assassinated. An American blogger has called for my 20-year-old son, here in Australia, to be kidnapped and harmed for no other reason than to get at me.

And Australians should observe with no pride the disgraceful pandering to these sentiments by Prime Minister Gillard and US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton have not had a word of criticism for the other media organisations. That is because The Guardian, The New York Times and Der Spiegel are old and large, while WikiLeaks is as yet young and small.

We are the underdogs. The Gillard government is trying to shoot the messenger because it doesn’t want the truth revealed, including information about its own diplomatic and political dealings.

Has there been any response from the Australian government to the numerous public threats of violence against me and other WikiLeaks personnel? One might have thought an Australian prime minister would be defending her citizens against such things, but there have only been wholly unsubstantiated claims of illegality. The Prime Minister and especially the Attorney-General are meant to carry out their duties with dignity and above the fray. Rest assured, these two mean to save their own skins. They will not.

Every time WikiLeaks publishes the truth about abuses committed by US agencies, Australian politicians chant a provably false chorus with the State Department: “You’ll risk lives! National security! You’ll endanger troops!” Then they say there is nothing of importance in what WikiLeaks publishes. It can’t be both. Which is it?

It is neither. WikiLeaks has a four-year publishing history. During that time we have changed whole governments, but not a single person, as far as anyone is aware, has been harmed. But the US , with Australian government connivance, has killed thousands in the past few months alone.

US Secretary of Defence Robert Gates admitted in a letter to the US congress that no sensitive intelligence sources or methods had been compromised by the Afghan war logs disclosure. The Pentagon stated there was no evidence the WikiLeaks reports had led to anyone being harmed in Afghanistan . NATO in Kabul told CNN it couldn’t find a single person who needed protecting. The Australian Department of Defence said the same. No Australian troops or sources have been hurt by anything we have published.

But our publications have been far from unimportant. The US diplomatic cables reveal some startling facts:

The US asked its diplomats to steal personal human material and information from UN officials and human rights groups, including DNA, fingerprints, iris scans, credit card numbers, internet passwords and ID photos, in violation of international treaties. Presumably Australian UN diplomats may be targeted, too.

King Abdullah of Saudi Arabia asked the US Officials in Jordan and Bahrain want Iran ‘s nuclear program stopped by any means available.

Britain’s Iraq inquiry was fixed to protect “US interests”.

Sweden is a covert member of NATO and US intelligence sharing is kept from parliament.

The US is playing hardball to get other countries to take freed detainees from Guantanamo Bay . Barack Obama agreed to meet the Slovenian President only if Slovenia took a prisoner. Our Pacific neighbour Kiribati was offered millions of dollars to accept detainees.

In its landmark ruling in the Pentagon Papers case, the US Supreme Court said “only a free and unrestrained press can effectively expose deception in government”. The swirling storm around WikiLeaks today reinforces the need to defend the right of all media to reveal the truth.

Julian Assange is the editor-in-chief of WikiLeaks.

Via and with thanks to: Media Diary with Caroline Overington


The Diary is this week’s take on Australian media. It’s edited by Caroline Overington, who is a two-time winner of the Walkley Award for Investigative Journalism. You can reach her at diary@theaustralian.com.au.

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Getting all Political again....

Thursday, 16 December 2010

Oh well, here I go again, ranting & raving. I just can’t help it!


It's every time I turn on the TV these days I just get MAD AS HELL about the stuff I'm seeing - usually on the News!

MPs' Expenses

Now you'd think that after all the kafuffle that was caused when The Daily Telegraph broke the stories about how our MPs' had for years been fiddling there expenses and pocketing tens of thousands pounds of Tax Payers money and the ensuing rage that followed; that lessons may have been learned!

But oh no, it would seem that now the dust has settled that Mps' would prefer to go back to the bad old days. They would prefer it if they didn't need to produce receipts for anything they may have needed to purchase whilst going about their business. They would prefer it if, once they had put in their expense claims that they didn't need to be scanned to make sure that what they were claiming for was justified. They would prefer that should they just say that they need to claim these expenses, that they should just be paid out instantly so that they are never out of pocket and they would prefer that we should just take them at their word; because after all they are MPs' and have never done anything that may require us to question their integrity in the past.

Today, a spokesman speaking on behalf of David Cameron said "they couldn't rule out" scrapping the new expenses checking body that was introduced following the last MPs' scandal that gave the press a field day, caused massive public outcry and changed the way I for one, viewed our Political system.

Anyone who has had to fill out expense forms as part of their job will know that it is a fact of life that accompanying any claim for expense must be backed up by a receipt or statement, will have to be checked for its' relevance and should it be found to be fraudulent, that the outcome will end with dismissal or at worst with prosecution. Why do MPs' not get the message that as we have to abide by these rules, we expect our leaders to abide by them too?

I know there are many things going on in the world that I can do nothing about and that I really shouldn't dig around the way I do, only to find evermore things that enrage me and make me want to scream. But on this occasion I would like to ask anyone who's reading this, who feels the same sense of disgust at the Government as I; could they voice their disgust too.

Take care everyone…. Ian

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Is There A Santa Claus? (Hepatitis C / Liver Transplant (Hep C) HCV Blog)

Saturday, 4 December 2010

This is something that I read on 'HCV Supports' December Newsletter that I couldn't resist sharing with you.....
(they can be found at: http://www.hcvsupport.org/)

Is There A Santa Claus?


Eight-year-old Virginia O'Hanlon wrote a letter to the editor of New York's Sun, veteran newsman Francis Pharcellus, and his quick response was printed as an unsigned editorial on Sept. 21, 1897. It has become history's most reprinted newspaper editorial.
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"DEAR EDITOR:
I am 8 years old. Some of my little friends say there is no Santa Claus. Papa says, 'If you see it in THE SUN it's so.' Please tell me the truth; is there a Santa Claus?

"VIRGINIA O'HANLON.

"115 WEST NINETY-FIFTH STREET."

Reply:

"VIRGINIA, your little friends are wrong. They have been affected by the skepticism of a skeptical age. They do not believe except [what] they see. They think that nothing can be which is not comprehensible by their little minds. All minds, Virginia, whether they be men's or children's, are little. In this great universe of ours man is a mere insect, an ant, in his intellect, as compared with the boundless world about him, as measured by the intelligence capable of grasping the whole of truth and knowledge.

Yes, VIRGINIA, there is a Santa Claus. He exists as certainly as love and generosity and devotion exist, and you know that they abound and give to your life its highest beauty and joy. Alas! how dreary would be the world if there were no Santa Claus. It would be as dreary as if there were no VIRGINIAS. There would be no childlike faith then, no poetry, no romance to make tolerable this existence. We should have no enjoyment, except in sense and sight. The eternal light with which childhood fills the world would be extinguished.

Not believe in Santa Claus! You might as well not believe in fairies! You might get your papa to hire men to watch in all the chimneys on Christmas Eve to catch Santa Claus, but even if they did not see Santa Claus coming down, what would that prove? Nobody sees Santa Claus, but that is no sign that there is no Santa Claus. The most real things in the world are those that neither children nor men can see. Did you ever see fairies dancing on the lawn? Of course not, but that's no proof that they are not there. Nobody can conceive or imagine all the wonders there are unseen and unseeable in the world.

You may tear apart the baby's rattle and see what makes the noise inside, but there is a veil covering the unseen world which not the strongest man, nor even the united strength of all the strongest men that ever lived, could tear apart. Only faith, fancy, poetry, love, romance, can push aside that curtain and view and picture the supernal beauty and glory beyond. Is it all real? Ah, VIRGINIA, in all this world there is nothing else real and abiding.

No Santa Claus! Thank God! he lives, and he lives forever. A thousand years from now, Virginia, nay, ten times ten thousand years from now, he will continue to make glad the heart of childhood.
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Each year during the Christmas season I share this editorial written by Francis Pharcellus in 1897 to Virginia O'Hanlon with our HCV Support members. For me it is a constant reminder to have faith in those things in life which we cannot touch with our senses, and to hold dear the little child which resides in all of us. With faith and belief anything is possible. For me Christmas is my favorite time of year for it renews our faith and brings out the inner child in all of us.
 My hope and wish for all affected by hepatitis C is that Santa will bring them the greatest gift of all .... a CURE! ..and for those awaiting liver transplantation.... The Gift of LIFE with a new liver.

May you all have a very Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year!

Wayne A. Morea

Founder/CEO - HCV Support, Inc. (http://www.hcvsupport.org/)
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Educator, writer. Born Laura Virginia O'Hanlon in 1889. At the age of eight, Virginia O'Hanlon became part of American history as the little girl who questioned the existence of Santa Claus. When she was unable to get a straight answer from her parents, she wrote a letter to the New York Sun newspaper in search of the truth.
As for the little girl in the story, she grew up and became a teacher. O'Hanlon earned a master's degree from Columbia University and a doctorate from Fordham University. For many years, she worked as an educator and school administrator. O'Hanlon also married, and became Virginia O'Hanlon Douglas.
Laura Virginia O'Hanlon Douglas died on May 13, 1971 at the age of 82. In 2005, plans were announced to transform her New York City childhood home into a school, according to the the Sun. A decision of which lifelong teacher O'Hanlon would surely have approved.

I hope you enjoyed it as much as I did.

Take care everyone.... Ian

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What Is Hepatitis C?

Hepatitis C Information:

Hepatits C is a blood-borne viral disease which can cause liver inflamation, fibrosis, cirrhosis and liver cancer. The Hepatitis C virus (HCV) is spread by blood-to-blood contact with infected person's blood. Many people with HCV infection have no symptoms and are unaware of the need to seek treatment. Hepatitis C infects an estimated 150-200 million people worldwide. It is the leading cause of liver Transplant...

Hepatitis C is an inflamation of the liver caused by infection with the Hepatitis C virus is one of the five known hepatitis viruses: A, B, C, D & E. Hepatitis C was previousley known as non-A non-B hepatitis prior to isolation of the virus in 1989.

Symptoms of Acute Hepatitis C:

Acute Hepatitis C refers to first 6 months after infection with HCV. Remarkably, 60% - 70% of people develop no symptoms during the acute phase. In the minority of patients who experience acute phase symptoms, thet are generally mild and non-specific, and rarely lead to specific diagnoses of Hepatitis C. Symptoms of acute hepatitis C include decreased appetite, fatigue, abdominal pain, jaundice, itching and flu-like symptoms.

Symptoms of Chronic Hepatitis C:

Chronic Hepatitis C is defined as infection with the Hepatitis C virus persisting for more than six months. The course of chronic hepatitis C varies considerably from one person to another. Virtually all people infected with HCV have evidence of inflamation on liver biopsy however, the rate of progression of liver scarring (fibrosis) shows significant inter-individual variability.

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