Garrett W. is an active 12-year-old who loves to play baseball, soccer, and basketball. He’s also an avid reader.
But Garrett, the son of an Army veteran, suffers from Hepatitis C, a liver disease called “the silent epidemic” because its symptoms are mild or nonexistent. He is enrolled in a clinical trial at the Cincinnati Children’s Hospital Medical Center.
Diagnosed in 1996, the seventh grader is under the care of Dr. William Balistreri, one of the world’s foremost authorities on pediatric gastroenterology and liver disease. Balistreri is head of the clinical study and utilizes the drug pegylated interferon combined with ribavirin.
At first, Garrett traveled once a week for a month, then every three weeks and is now flying once a month to Cincinnati, accompanied each time by his father, Tom.
Tom is retired from the U.S. Army where he held the office of Command Sergeant-Major. A member of the 101st Airborne Division, he served in Desert Shield and Desert Storm.