This article is published from Insider's News, which is a magazine available in every NSW correctional centre

Dear Insider's News,

Firstly, I’d like to thank you for putting out an excellent magazine. I really enjoy reading letters from inmates and their stories. They often sound very similar and it’s quite surprising how our stories and lives can run parallel.

I’m 33 years of age. I’ve had 2 children and one passed away (stillborn). The day my daughter passed away felt like the day my life ended.

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I was really young at the time and didn’t even know how to use a fit. I would end up in bloodbaths or I’d pay someone to do me, which sometimes was hard because I had a raging dependency. Eventually I learned how to do myself and didn’t have to share anymore. So I would go out, do an earn, go get on, have a shot, and do the whole thing again. Every day and every night, over and over again.

Mind you, I still hadn’t grieved over the death of my daughter at the time. I tried not to think about it as I was too busy getting my next hit.

I always had access to fit boxes as I lived right next to a community centre that handed them out, so I thought I was a safe user, until one day I went to get on then tried to get sterile fits. Every place I went to was closed. I didn’t even have one of my old ones.

My mate who sold me the gear didn’t have fits, except his old used one. This one time I used someone else’s fit changed me. I still remember it like it was yesterday. He even told me he had hep C at the time, but I was hanging out and didn’t care. It all went over my head until I came to jail.

I ended up doing a blood test. They told me I was positive for hep C. The doctors explained the treatment and said I had to do a 12-week program. At the time I was really embarrassed. I took it the same time I’d get my methadone, so no-one noticed.

Since I cleared it, I realised why I had no energy. I realised why my appetite changed, my mood, everything.

Now I’ve had time to reflect on myself, I’ve found time to cry. As years have gone by, it’s hard, but I’ve accepted the death of my daughter and that honestly comes with time. Now I’ve got my son to think about, and now that I’ve gotten rid of that nasty hep C, for me the sky is the limit.

Best wishes, 


Dear Miranda,  

Thank you for this amazing letter. By honestly telling your story, you are doing so many things for other Insider's News readers – you are reminding people to use safely; you are encouraging people to get tested for hep C – and letting them know that treatment really does make a difference to people’s lives; and you are encouraging other people who might be scared to face their trauma.

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You show us that it’s not weak to experience grief but that facing our fears can make us stronger. You remind us that even though we may feel shame at times, that the opinions of others should not stop us stepping up to look after our health.

We know that your journey forward is going to be a lot easier than the road behind you and wish you all the love and joy that is yours to claim.

Love Leah & the Insider's News team