My life with hepatitis C

María José Gandasegui is hopeful a new generation of drugs will cure her of the virus 

 María José Gandasegui was 12 when she began to suffer from prolonged bouts of extreme fatigue. Her family had no idea what was wrong with her, and people around her began labeling her lazy. She tried to make up for it by spending extra hours studying at school.

She ended up with two university degrees, a PhD on 18th-century law, a job as a court clerk, and three children, all of which she managed despite long periods of exhaustion. Finally, at the age of 48, she learned that she had hepatitis C, a virus that had been continually eating away at her liver.

Now 66, the last few years have been particularly hard for Gandasegui: cirrhosis, an encephalopathy caused by liver degeneration that severely affected her ability to concentrate, and a liver transplant followed by serious complications that put her in hospital for five months, nearly killing her.

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