Thank you for joining me in this cause!
June 2nd - June 8th, over 3,000 Cyclists, Roadies and Virtual Cyclists will be participating in AIDS/LifeCycle, a 545-mile bike ride from San Francisco to Los Angeles to raise funds for the life-saving services offered by San Francisco AIDS Foundation and the Los Angeles LGBT Center. This year, I’ll be one of them!
This cause is near and dear to my heart. There are quite a few people in my life who have been impacted by HIV or AIDS, myself included. I was diagnosed with HIV in 2009 when I was living in Los Angeles at the age of 26. I felt alone and afraid and had a really hard time accepting this new reality. I only shared with those who needed to know and it tore me up inside feeling like I had a secret. I felt like I couldn't tell people and I felt lonely, it truly was like being in the closet all over again. I was scared.
One day my boss pulled me aside and said "Cody, something has changed and I need to know what is going on with you?" Reluctantly I replied, "I know, my mind has been elsewhere [beat] I have been diagnosed with HIV and I'm feeling really lost with how to handle it". "Oh...I'm so sorry, I had no idea" she responded. After a brief silence she followed with "We will get through this, you are not alone". The best thing anyone could have said to me in that moment in my life. Later I would discover that I had a huge web of overwhelming support.
From then on, I started to find the courage to come out and share and it felt so good. I started to feel love again, especially for myself. I had lost my own love in all of it and I needed to fill that heart up again and I knew that if I didn't have love for myself, then I would never be abe to be there for someone else who needed my love. I ride to stop the stigma associated with HIV and AIDS and so no one has to ever feel alone in this world.
Do you know why so many people are afraid of HIV and AIDS? Do you know why so many people are afraid to tell anyone that they are positive? People are usually afraid when they don't know anything about HIV/AIDS. People are afraid they will be rejected by loved ones. People are afraid of health issues that may attack their immune system. People are afraid to be alone.
Guess what? Being positive today does NOT have to be being afraid or alone. Being positive today can mean living a healthy and fulfilling life. Being positive today can mean having family and friends who love and support you. Being positive today can mean having a long-term healthy partnership. Being positive today can mean having children of my own. Being positive today means love and acceptance. Being positive today means inspiration to live. I've been positive for almost 10 years now and these are the reasons why I ride.
We've come a long way and we still have a ways to go. Talk about HIV and AIDS with your family, friends and co-workers. Have conversations about sexual health with your children, loved ones and partners. Don't be afraid to talk about what scares you.
I am proud to say that I am HIV positive and humbled to be undetectable. An ‘undetectable’ diagnosis means that the level of HIV in your body is so low (under 40 copies/ml) that it is non-infectious to other people. Being undetectable also means that your body is in good health and that your immune system is working well at defending itself from daily germs.
The services provided as a result of ALC mean the world to those who receive them, and your support means the world to me.
We’re working together to make HIV/AIDS a thing of the past. Will you support me by making a donation today? I strive to help make the topic of HIV/AIDS lighter and easier to talk about. If you have any questions or want to learn more about me or talk about HIV/AIDS or to talk about things that are totally not that, please feel free to reach out to me.
My Personal Web Log
My ALC journey so far
Wow, it's been quite the year. I signed up for ALC back in June 2018 when I was down in Santa Barbara visiting my partner at the time during the candle light vigil. I remember standing on the beach around the white angel bike surrounded by candles and a beautiful silence of hundreds of riders, friends and family honoring those we've lost. With my partner in my arms and his family nearby, across the way was my friend, Nick. Nick is a good friend of mine who is also positive and we've been there for each other in times of need. He caught my eye and we both nodded as a tear fell down our cheeks. After that, I walked over to the booth and signed up for the ride.
I've been training weekly, some weeks for multiple days. Damn this rain! My body is feeling ready. My mind is feeling ready. My heart is feeling ready. I didn't know I'd love cycling so much <3
After I reached my minimum goal of $3k and then hit my initial goal of $5k, I felt like I still had months to go until the ride, why not push my fundraising goals up a notch. I plan to reach $15k by June 1st and I'm about $1,500 shy with 2.5 weeks to go. Every little bit helps and I'm counting on my community of friends, families and coworkers for support.
So far, the support has been incredible and overwhelming. The inspirational notes of love and the financial donations inspire me to get up at 5:45am and ride around this city to catch the sunrises or sometimes lack thereof.
Thanks again for your support <3
by Cody Enicke on Wed, May 15, 2019 @ 1:02 PM