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Growing Up With Hemophilia, HIV And Tigers

Craig McLaughlin's book 'Passing on Curves: While Death Rides Shotgun'
Credit Craig McLaughlin
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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.

Charlie Shelton-Ormond is a podcast producer for WUNC. His fascination for audio storytelling and radio journalism began as a broadcast major at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. He began his career as a reporter for Carolina Connection, UNC’s student-led radio news show, where Charlie’s work won multiple Hearst Journalism Awards.
Phoebe Judge is an award-winning journalist whose work has been featured on a numerous national radio programs. She regularly conducts interviews and anchors WUNC's broadcast of Here & Now. Previously, Phoebe served as producer, reporter and guest host for the nationally distributed public radio program The Story. Earlier in her career, Phoebe reported from the gulf coast of Mississippi. She covered the BP oil spill and the aftermath of Hurricane Katrina for Mississippi Public Broadcasting and National Public Radio. Phoebe's work has won multiple Edward R. Murrow and Associated Press awards. Phoebe was born and raised in Chicago and is graduate of Bennington College and the Salt Institute for Documentary Studies.