For my fifth year in a row, I will be riding 550 miles down the coast of California in AIDS/LifeCycle 2018!
For those of you who have continued to support this cause and follow my ride every year, I want to tell you just how much it means to me. Every dollar that we raise is used to help people living with HIV/AIDS, and to stop new infections. We're trying to make medical care and treatment more accessible for those who struggle financially. The money we raise is also used for education/outreach, advocacy, and direct care.
For others who are new to AIDS/LifeCycle or who are considering donating for the first time - this is why I ride. The personal journey and physical feat this ride puts me through is unlike anything I have ever experienced before. This ride not only challenges my body and mind, but it has also shown me just how great humans can be towards one another. I'm not even kidding you. Take 2,500 people from all around the world with different backgrounds, age, sexual orientation, HIV status, and cycling skills - give them a goal and a finish line - and watch them build the most understanding, loving, helping, inclusive community on wheels (which just so happened to raise over $16 million last year alone). No wonder I keep coming back!!
More and more I understand, and see first hand, how vital the money we raise is. Over the years I've met HIV positive cyclists who have benefited from the programs and services the San Francisco AIDS Foundation and the LA LGBT Center provide. They are alive, and well and cycling because of organizations like these who are working their hardest to help them live longer and healthier lives. SFAF has a goal of zero new HIV infections, and they are well on their way because of the eduction, advocacy and direct services they provide to the SF area. The LA LGBT Center's work spans much farther than HIV/AIDS outreach and care. They are committed to fighting bigotry and building a better world in which LGBT people can be healthy, equal, and complete members of society. Together, the SFAF and the LA LGBT Center have a global impact. Their programs and initiatives provide a gold standard and are often mirrored to help build strong and healthy communities around the world.
This ride is important to me and I want it to be important to you. It's my pleasure to be asking you for a generous donation towards this year's AIDS/LifeCycle.
follow my ride on instagram @graceahart