Hepatitis C Patient Advocate Gregori Romenski is spear-heading an initiative to increase awareness about Hepatitis B & C in the Russian Community.

In January 2012, Gregori Romenski launched a monthly Community Education and Patient Support Group in Russian in the Coney Island & Brighten Beach area of Brooklyn. The group has been drawing many community members every month. Since then, he has coordinated with Mount Sinai Medical Center’s HONE Project to bring a successful Hepatitis B & C Screening to the community. He is currently working on developing a grass roots awareness campaign in English and Russian through BRIC Arts Media Brooklyn.

Russian Hepatitis B & C Support Group in Coney Island
Last Wednesday of the month (6:30-7:30 PM).

Kings Highway Library: 2115 Ocean Ave.
Group Facilitator: Greg Romen ([email protected])  (718) 395-9120.

Gregori’s Story

Try to teach somebody: they will resist.
Give to somebody advice: usually they will do the opposite.
Tell them your real life story: they might pay attention.

Here is my story
Most of the time, a successful business keeps up with inventory. Throughout my life, I kept up my health inventory pretty successfully: doing exercise, eating healthy, meditation… I thought my health was under control, but in fact I had lost control of the Hepatitis C I got a long time ago through reuse of a needle during a medical treatment in Russia.

I am thankful to my doctor who finally convinced me to take a blood test for Hepatitis C. Ops!!!! My virus was 10 times more active than normal – it was bad news. The decision had to be immediate action: go for treatment.

I went on treatment without any suspicion of how hard it would be. I lost my appetite, lost a lot of weight, lost interest in anything except to prove to myself that I am strong enough to go through this. I just really needed to meet people dealing with the same situation or condition now or in the past. But I couldn’t find any. Where were the other Russian people with Hepatitis C? Were they feeling the same thing?

I called the NYC Health Department 311 service for help and they guide me to the Hepatitis Program who guided me to Ronni Mark’s Hepatitis C Support Group in Manhattan. I started going to this group, which helped me get through my treatment time.

Now, I want to send my message for those who are looking
Keep your health inventory, it is your responsibility
Never give up – know that help is around
We will survive by helping each other