A FORMER teacher who has overcome the blood disease hepatitis C has made a fresh plea to people who think they may be at risk to get tested.

Susan Wright discovered she had the potentially fatal illness during a medical check-up for an insurance company in 2003.

Mrs Wright, aged 51, stopped drinking, went through a programme of treatment in 2006-07 and has now been declared free of the virus.

Last year, she became the face of a publicity campaign in a bid to dispel the stigma surrounding the blood disease.

Now the mother of four wants to warn others that they could have the condition without knowing it.

Mrs Wright, of Hulton Lane, Deane, said: “It was only by chance that I found out I had hepatitis C. I got it because I dabbled with drugs when I was younger. In my early 20s I did some pretty crazy stuff, not knowing there were such risks.

“You could have it for years and not know, and all that time it is destroying your liver. The end result, if it is undetected, is that your liver fails.”

Mrs Wright, who is training to be a hairdresser, is urging people to get tested so they can get treatment if necessary.

The former Smithills School teacher said: “If you recognise that you have been involved in risky activities in the past, or recently, go to be tested.

“People assume only drug users get it but it can be contracted through blood transfusions as well.

“It’s not a big deal, just a blood test, and then you’ll know.

“If you have got it there is treatment, and I am an example of how it can be a great success.”

To get tested contact your GP or Bolton Centre for Sexual Health at Royal Bolton Hospital.

For more information visit nhs.uk/hepc or hepctrust.org.uk