The year was 1972 and the Allman Brothers Band released the album “Eat a Peach.” I just about wore out that piece of vinyl. If you have a soft spot in your heart for that hit album and this southern rock band, then I’d bet that you, like me, were sad to learn of the recent passing of Gregg Allman. There’s something else we probably have in common: belonging to the Baby Boomer generation.
Baby Boomers continue to be the highest risk group for being a carrier of the hepatitis C virus (HCV). Unfortunately, Gregg Allman, the co-founder of The Allman Brothers Band, had hepatitis C. He was diagnosed back in 2007 and a few years later underwent a liver transplant. Allman’s experience with hepatitis C spurred him to host a benefit concert, with the sponsorship of Merck and the American Liver foundation, in an effort to raise awareness about the health risks of HCV. He aimed to promote awareness about this disease as a growing public health issue and urge fellow Baby Boomers to get tested – and treated – for this disease.
A core part of Gregg’s message is summed up with what he shared in an interview just before receiving a Lifetime Achievement Grammy: “doing nothing is not an option. Talk to your doctor and get a blood test and see if you have the hep C virus. They give you this medicine at first to kill it, if you catch it early enough.” In other words, get tested and get treated.
Gregg continued to make music and release albums after his liver transplant. In fact, his final album will be released later this year. Unfortunately his liver cancer returned and he died from complications of liver cancer on May 27, 2017.
His music – and his message – will live on:
- If you are of Baby Boomer age, get tested for HCV.
- If you have HCV, then get treatment. There are many more highly effective treatments available today than there were back in 2007 when Allman was diagnosed.
- Doing nothing is not an option.
Please reach out if I or anyone on our team can help you make the decision that Gregg made to be treated. Do it while you have insurance, but there are ways around any number of barriers, including a variety of funding sources such as patient assistance programs.
Don’t be a ‘ramblin’ man’ on this!