Vietnam era veteran carries battle cry of hepatitis C

ATHENS – Mike Blackburn didn’t serve in Vietnam but he was a veteran of that era. He never served in combat. But his war continues to this day. And according to his doctors, his war will end soon.

Blackburn, 62, has hepatitis C virus with stage 4 liver failure. A few weeks ago he was placed on hospice with 3-6 months life expectancy. His diagnosis of hepatitis C didn’t come until Aug. 10, 2014, just six days before his 62nd birthday, when he went to the hospital with severe stomach pain.

Last year’s birthday of course is a blur for Blackburn and his wife, Pam. But he’s a self-proclaimed old country boy from Kentucky and he’s a fighter and he hasn’t given up hope.

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