Day of music to bring awareness of disease

Hepatitis C Awareness, a nonprofit organization, has announced its first "Hep C Aware - Carson City" concert to be from noon-9 p.m. June 18 at the Pony Express Pavilion in Carson City.

After losing a close friend to hepatitis C in 2001, Kelly Zirbes and her band, Kelly's Lot, began a four-year campaign offering hepatitis C information at their shows. With the desire to reach a mass level of awareness of this disease, Kelly put out a few calls to fellow musicians across the country to help raise the awareness of hepatitis C on a national level by distributing information at various local music gigs around the nation's venues. The response was astounding and led to the founding of A postcard was designed for the campaign, and a grass-roots movement began.

Vicki Dalton from Carson City heard about the postcards and contacted Kelly about helping distribute them in Carson City. Inspired by Vicki, the "Hep C Aware Street Team" was formed, which has now grown into a national coalition of street teams working together with the musicians to raise awareness of this deadly disease that affects over 4 million Americans every year.

Dalton, who lives with hepatitis C, called upon her employer, Carson-Tahoe Hospital, to sponsor the event and booked the Pony Express Pavilion.

Hepatitis C is a disease of the liver caused by the hepatitis C virus (HCV).

The virus is present in the blood and is spread when infected blood from one person enters the body of another.

It causes the liver to form tiny scars, which, over time, join together and begin to prevent blood from flowing freely through the liver.

Chronic hepatitis C infection is the most common indication for liver transplantation in the United States.

It affects more than 4 million people in the United States, and an estimated 8,000-10,000 Americans die annually of complications related to HCV.

Hepatitis C infection is a major public health problem throughout the world, yet it is largely preventable. Prevention can happen through education programs, rigorous efforts to protect blood supplies and major intervention programs for such at-risk populations as recreational intravenous drug users. There is no vaccine for hepatitis C.

Risk factors include receipt of blood, blood products or an organ transplant prior to 1992, sharing of drug paraphernalia (injecting or snorting), being stuck by a used blood needle, received kidney dialysis, getting tattoos or body piercings, having had sexual activity that involves contact with blood, incarceration, sharing personal-care items such as toothbrushes or razors with an infected person, fighting in a war (especially Vietnam). If you are in any of these categories, you may have been exposed to hepatitis C. Get tested.

The concert will feature performances by Rick Monroe, Che Zuro, Kung Fu Sophie, Slim Chance, Gene Butler, 7th Fall and Kelly's Lot. There will be dancing by The Desert Goddesses and special guest speakers.

The Pony Express Pavilion is at Mills Park. The concert will end at 9 p.m. and is free to the public. The proceeds from the raffles, food sales and all donations will go to Hepatitis C Awareness, Inc. to help start a task force in Carson City.

For more information on this event, call Judy Lynn at (818)-769-2701. For more information, visit

n Submitted by Judy Lynn at PK Public Relations.


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