Gérard Genest was born with hemophilia, a rare disorder in which a person’s blood does not clot normally. He received several blood transfusions over the course of his life. As a child, he was still able to play hockey enjoy time with friends and family.
“When I was a kid, it was pretty hard. I wanted to play with my friends… I played hockey and, believe it or not, I was a goalie… But I was always in the hospital,” Says Gérard of his childhood years.
Gérard continued to be active into his adult years. But at 32 years old, when he was told he had contracted Hepatitis C from a blood transfusion, his life changed forever. There were no treatments for him at that time. Over the 25 year that would follow, his liver developed chronic hepatitis which led to cirrhosis and then to liver cancer. A liver transplant was becoming necessary.
Doctors worked hard to keep him alive long enough to try a new medicine they had heard of that could possibly help. He was offered the medicine through a compassionate care program. Compassionate care or patient assistance programs provide patients with information, support and access to innovative medicines.
The treatment lasted 24 weeks but, after only two weeks, the Hepatitis C was undetectable. By the end of the treatment, Gérard was cured of Hepatitis C.
“I was cured; I couldn’t believe it! I am so grateful to everyone who worked on the research and or getting me to the treatment. They gave me the opportunity to live,” Added Gérard.
Now, Gérard is getting healthier every day and looks forward to spending quality time with his family and friends, doing the activities he’s always loved: biking, swimming, skiing, and skating.