Above the Din: Diary of the HepC Wonder Drugs
Labar Laskie (Author); Lona Powell (Illustrator)
HenschelHAUS Publishing (2021)
Reviewed by Paige Lovitt for Reader Views (01/2022)
“Above the Din” spans fifteen years of the author’s journey to overcome Hepatitis C. Laskie shares her whole path of trials and tribulations with readers so that we can see how every aspect of her life factored into how she managed to deal with this virus. While it took her a while to find a great specialist, she managed to do so through her own research and implementing alternative therapies to assist with her healing. Unfortunately, she did not have success with all of the treatments she tried, but she still was able to make some progress with a few.
Here, she documents eighty-four days of treatment with a HepC “Wonder” drug with which she had remarkable success! Laskie also relates how she stayed active and involved in life while dealing with a potentially fatal disease. While it clearly impacted her life and those around her, she did not let it define who she is as a person. Her pursuits included taking up trapeze artistry and speed skating; her personal story is an inspiration to all those who find themselves being beaten down by this disease.
I personally had experience helping someone close to me who, like the author, contracted HepC from a blood transfusion in his youth. He was able to get on board and achieve success with the Interferon/Ribavirin combo. By participating in a study using these drugs, we saw that not everyone had that success, but it’s good to know that there are newer, better treatments out there. Reading Labar Laskie’s story was so enlightening that people who have HepC, their loved ones, and those who collaborate with these patients should read “Above the Din” for information, help and support. In addition to receiving hope for a healing technique, readers will also get an idea of what it is like to have to live with a virus. I found myself learning so much more about this virus, and the variety of treatment protocols that are available. (And I’d already thought I knew a lot about it.)
The author also dives into the impact thrust upon personal relationships and finances when it comes to contracting a disease and being unable to work. Laskie kept her mind and body very busy during her treatments; taking up the physical pursuits that she did, she ended up going beyond what most healthy people can do! Her energy and upbeat demeanor are motivating, and the illustrations in the book are charming. I enjoyed the fact that they added color and brightness as she relayed her experiences. Additional resources are also cited so that readers can do more research on their own. In my opinion, “Above the Din” is a must read for people whose lives are impacted, in any way, by HepC.