In today's episode of Bare Naked Bravery we get to talk with Maggie McGeehee was born and raised in Denton, TX and has lived for the past decade in Seattle, WA. By day she is an urban planner, designing transportation programs that offer more options for people to choose their best way to travel. She also teaches piano lessons and preschool music, with the philosophy that the purpose of making music is to create joy.
In May 2015, she was diagnosed with hepatitis c. Before hep c, music was her primary outlet and free-time pursuit. In the first months after her diagnosis, she found that she could not get herself to play music. All she could think about was hep c, hep c, hep c – how to cope with the fear and isolation, how to fight for treatment and understanding, how the virus worked and how she could save her own life.
In *July* 2015, she found to her surprise that she was writing and drawing a comic book. She started drawing the comic as a way to collect and process her research, her emotions, and her experience. The main character's name? Hepsie, spelled h-e-p-s-i-e. The comic book's name? "Life with Hepsie, the Wonder Liver" She hopes that Hepsie will help others facing this and any other medical diagnosis to know you are not alone, you can advocate for your own healthcare, you can and should ask for what you need. Most of all, just because you are now a “patient,” you still have power and identity beyond the diagnosis and beyond the healthcare system. You are still the unique, vibrant, valued person you have always been.
She's met people she would never have met otherwise if she hadn’t been diagnosed with this virus, and it is they who made it possible for her to get treatment. Collectively, they supported and guided her to ask for the clinical tests she needed, request the correct prescriptions from her doctor, write appeal letters responding to her insurance company’s coverage denials, and apply for and ultimately receive medication through a drug company Patient Assistance Program. The support of advocates and patients, her family, friends and employers, is why her virus is now undetectable, and Hepsie — her Wonder Liver — will have the chance to heal. It is also why she now wants to devote her saved life to support hepatitis patients, break down stigmas, and eliminate barriers to treatment.
Your Brave Take-Away from today's show is simply asking yourself a couple questions. Chew on your answers and see what comes up over the week.
- What are your qualifiers for worthiness?
- How often do you break those norms?
- What does it take to redefine worthiness?
We'd love to hear all about your favorite parts of today's Bare Naked Bravery. You can find Maggie McGeehee and myself on Facebook, twitter, Instagram, and more. Go ahead and tag us so we can cheer you on and see what you're up to.
Keep in Touch with Maggie McGeehee
Keep in Touch with Emily Ann Peterson
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If you're diggin' the music in today's episode, that's because it's brought to you by my friends at Music Box Licensing, a premier creative music agency dedicated to finding and crafting unique soundtracks.
To find out more about all the artists, musicians, and other sponsors of the show, please visit barenakedbravery.com/sponsors
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I'm looking forward to being with you next week. We have some great things in store for you!
Until then I have one message for you. It's this: