_John Patrick Gatta_

Last night, the National Viral Hepatitis Roundtable (NVHR) presented a new annual award to Gregg Allman, honoring the late midnight rider’s activism and perseverance in the face of illness. Allman publicly announced his Hepatitis C diagnosis in 2011, and was vocal about the need for increased awareness and research. According to the NVHR, the Gregg Allman Hepatitis C Leadership Award will be given to men and women who perform “exceptional work on behalf of people living with viral hepatitis.”

Allman’s longtime manager, Michael Lehman, accepted the award on his client’s behalf. “Gregg recognized an awareness gap, particularly among baby boomers who are infected with Hepatitis C and either don’t realize they have the virus or just are not seeking treatment,” Lehman said. “He sought to remove the stigma with the message that it doesn’t matter how you contract hepatitis C – it only matters that you find it and treat it. While I wish Gregg were here to receive the award himself, I’m honored to accept it on his behalf and to have the opportunity to support NVHR for all its work over the past 15 years to stem the tide of this devastating disease.”

In 2011, as one of his many fundraising efforts, Allman brought together members of the Allman Brothers, Graham Nash, Marc Quinones, Billy Gibbons, David Crosby, Natalie Cole and Phil Lesh for “Tune In to Hep C,” a concert that raised $250,000 to benefit NVHR and the American Liver Foundation.