You can't keep a good man down - or me, apparently! Yes, I am returning as a Roadie for ALC2019 - June 2-8, 2019!
As many of you know, I have been participating in AIDS/LifeCycle for quite some time - this year marks my 14th time doing this event! From June 2 - June 8, 2019, I will be making the trek from SF to LA once again with the amazing Gear & Tent team. To mark this momentous year for me (having just turned 50), my goal is to raise $50,000. And one way I thought to do this is to have 100 people donate $500 each - hence the 100 for 500! Of course, all donations are welcome - this is just a brainstorm idea I had.
I am hoping this is something you will support. I have been living with HIV since August of 2000 and have committed myself to do everything I can to help in this fight until HIV is a thing of the past. We are close! And I know I will see a world where the kids in my life will not have to worry about HIV and AIDS at all. I hope you believe that as well.
A quick story - my cousin and her husband have 4 children who I adore. One morning, when the kids were very young, they saw me taking my meds. When they asked what the pills were for, I asked them if they have ever heard of HIV and AIDS. They said they had and they asked if people died from it. I started to explain, "yes (their faces dropped and they got visibly upset), but that is why I take the pills - so I won't get sick". Once we talked about it, they felt better about what they had learned. When my cousin came home and we were having dinner, one of the girls, very innocently, announced "Sean has AIDS". My cousin and her husband looked at me, horrified. My cousin proceeded to tell me I had no right to talk to their kids about such things and that it was not my place. The kids started to get upset again. Privately, I told my cousin that I did not want to ignore the kids' questions and that I wanted to make this something that was NOT scary for them - so they would not be afraid of this. I felt I had done that, but my cousin felt otherwise. She wanted to keep them in the dark about the whole subject.
And THAT'S why I continue to do this ride. I do not want the kids in my family - or any kids - to grow up with that stigma and fear that so many of us have lived through for so many years. It's something I feel so passionately about - and I hope you do too.
That's why I hope you will give serious consideration to joining the 100 for 500 campaign I am starting. At the end of the day, I know it is a chunk of change - but it goes such a long long way in reaching so many people. I believe we are here to help each other and make the world a better place than we found it. This is the way I choose to do that.
On a last note, I would like to ask you to think about the people you have lost to HIV/AIDS, or those you know who are living with HIV. You may only know one person - me. But I would like you to think of how different the world would be today if those people who have passed on were still here; or think about what those living with HIV have taught you and brought to your life. Again, that may just be me. But I would like you to keep ALL of us in your thoughts as you decide to donate.
Thank you, as always, for your continued support.