Growing Up With Hemophilia, HIV And Tigers

Sep 8, 2015

Credit Craig McLaughlin

Craig McLaughlin was given 12 years to live when he was born with hemophilia in 1957. With the help of developments in medicine and some good fortune, McLaughlin exceeded the life expectancy and eventually started a family.

But along the way, he experienced hard bumps in the road. As a child, McLaughlin battled constant physical pain and social isolation. He was diagnosed with HIV from a blood transfusion as a young adult. 

Meanwhile, McLaughlin spent much of his adolescence growing up on his step-father’s eclectic farm in Pittsboro, N.C., surrounded by tigers, ostriches, monkeys and other exotic animals. 

In 1995, McLaughlin felt his health deteriorating and believed he did not have long to live. But he wanted to make sure his then 2-year-old daughter knew about her father, so he began writing down the memories and moments that had shaped his life.

The result is “Passing on Curves: While Death Rides a Shotgun"(Herne Publishing/2015) a series of essays written for the stage about McLaughlin’s life.

Guest host Phoebe Judge talks to author Craig McLaughlin about his new memoir.