Thank you for joining me in this cause!
This will be my SECOND time riding AIDS/LifeCycle! From June 4-10, 2017, I'll be participating in a 7-day, 545-mile bike ride from San Francisco to Los Angeles.
Last year when I announced I was doing AIDS/LifeCycle for the first time, one of my friends confided in me that her brother died of AIDS and that she had cared for him through his final days. Another friend described how she took care of one of her best work friends when no one from his family would, until he passed away. Even in North Dakota when I was in junior high school, I knew someone with AIDS. He was probably around my current age when he passed away. Fundraising for AIDS/LifeCycle has highlighted the importance of this cause, touched and enriched me, and brought me closer to people in unexpected ways. Really incredible people died tragically young. And that's one reason why I am again riding the 545 miles from SF to LA.
It's true: the stories of caring for people in hospice on their death beds are mostly from the 80s and 90s. People are not dying of AIDS much anymore. At least not dying young. But that's in part because of the infrastructure that SF AIDS Foundation, AIDS Legal Referral Panel, and so many other incredible organizations have had in place for the past 30+ years. Infrastructure that would not be possible without charitable donations. These organizations have worked to keep people healthy and educated so that HIV is kept in check. To keep AIDS from taking anyone else -- including any of my friends -- before his time is a second reason why I fundraise and another reason why I am again riding the 545 miles from SF to LA.
That there is still an incredible stigma attached to an HIV-positive status is the third reason I'm doing this. Some people don't even want to know or talk to someone with HIV. That's how awful people can be. And that is unacceptable to me.
This cause is really important to me. It has personally touched my life in many significant ways. And I hope that you can join me and make a donation if you haven't yet.
Thank you very much.