#81 In Roads-Bit
Cutting through the alley to avoid the crowds I stop for a photo and a friendly gal asks how my day is going. The petite little blonde with numerous tatts, including one on her neck that reads “NO H8,” looks tired and seems kind of disoriented.
“I just rode over 650-miles. I come in to work for the shop during the rally, delivering parts. I’m pretty wiped out, though. It’s better since I got my new bike, no more hardails.” She sits cross-legged on her bike as she talks about her many rides and adventures before she tells about her fund-raising efforts.
“I’ve raised over $97,000.00 for Hep C Awareness. I travel around and try to inform people about Hepatitis C. I even have a sponsor now, American Bikers Association.”
Lori Mauldin, who goes by “Bit,” has the condition herself. She explains about the symptoms, including exhaustion, and the transference of the disease through blood-to-blood contact. She talks about the various precautions necessary to avoid contamination. Personally, she uses gloves to wash dishes and carries a spray bottle of bleach water for showers when she travels, since the concern for others is foremost in her mind. She says people need to control their own precautions in order to take care of the ones they know and love. Bit gets riled when she talks about misconceptions.
“It really pisses me off when people say drug addicts are the only ones who get Hepatitis C. That’s not true. You can get it from having a blood transfusion or organ transplant or a variety of ways. Even through a tattoo,” she waves at her many tattoos as she shares the information. “A lot of vets are dealing with this because of tatts. Nothing about drugs. I try to raise money to help those who can’t afford things like the extra potassium necessary or the three Ensures and the gallon of Gatorade they need each day. It’s really important to keep those vitamins in your body.”
She says the Veterans Administration has been good about helping vets get the meds they need. “It runs almost $4,000.00 a month for the treatments and it takes 9-12 months depending on the course they take. They have some new medication and I’m not sure about all that yet. It used to be like chemo but it isn’t anymore. I’ll have a lot of information up on my Facebook page soon. You can look me up there under my name.” I find Bit interesting and easy to respect. She’s straightforward and motivated as an advocate. It’s amazing, the things you can learn while taking a short cut.