Assemblyman Ken Zebrowski, D-New City, has joined with Hepatitis C advocates in Albany to ask Governor David Paterson to proclaim May at Hepatitis C awareness month in New York.
The request sheds light on a disease that has a lack of understanding in the world. Over 75 Assembly colleagues signed onto Zebrowski's resolution in support.
Assemblyman Ken Zebrowski's father died due to the Hepatitis C virus in 2007. He contracted the disease in 1973, was diagnosed in 1996 but did not show symptoms of the progression until 2006.
"Perhaps the most frustrating thing for my family and I was the lack of information, of the risks and possible treatments available, in the public and in the medical field," said Zebrowski. "It is so important that we have advocacy, awareness and support each and every year to assist families in dealing with this disease."
Zebrowski's father, Kenneth Zebrowksi, was a lawyer and chairman of the Rockland County Legislature.
Zebrowski was joined on the floor of the Assembly by Shari Foster, executive director of Status C Unknown, a statewide Hepatitis advocacy organization in New York. Shari Foster was recognized on the floor along with fellow advocates Ronni Marks and Monica Rickert. Zebrowski said these women traveled up to Albany for the resolution and turned around to travel all the way to Washington, D.C., to participate in the World Hepatitis Day events.
"Over 200,000 New Yorkers are chronically infected with Hepatitis C and only 30% are aware they are infected. It is time for us to address this major health crisis together," said Foster.
"We must bring this disease out of the shadows and get real in researching and developing treatments to help those afflicted with Hepatitis C," Zebrowski said.