Grammy winner Jon Secada has joined a campaign to make Hispanics more aware of chronic hepatitis C, a condition that contributed to the death of his father.
“It’s a very quiet illness, that you don’t notice what it’s doing to your liver,” the Cuban-American singer and songwriter said Thursday in an interview with Efe.
“I didn’t know what this disease was until I saw my father sick,” Secada said.
His father, Jose Secada, was diagnosed with chronic hepatitis C, but kept it secret for a decade. He died last year at the age of 83 of complications from the virus.
Jon Secada, who has sold more than 20 million albums, wants to make people aware of the dangers of chronic hepatitis C and that “there are many treatment options.”
His experience with his dad prompted the 49-year-old singer to get involved in the campaign, which is sponsored by the American Liver Foundation and pharmaceutical giant Merck.
“There are 3 million people affected by hepatitis C in the United States, 30 percent of whom are Hispanic-Americans,” Secada said.
“We have to be aware of our health and ask for help” when it’s needed, he said. “If you don’t take care of your health, in the end you can’t help your family.”