Thank you for joining me in this cause!
June 4th - June 10th, 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.
As many of you know, last year was my first year of participating in the AIDS/LifeCycle event in CA. With your help I was successful in raising over $11,000. This year, I have set a personal goal of over $25,000 dollars and have increased my own personal financial commitment two fold. I hope you will not only consider donating to this great cause again, but also the personal challenge of just a little bit more.
I cannot possibly convey the heart felt appreciation and caring of each and every one of the donors, riders, roadies and community support experienced along the the course of the ride. Physically, each hill and each mile was known and felt. Mentally, any challenge during the ride was quickly swept away by the camaraderie of strangers forming this extended family and support group over the course of the week and 545 miles.
Most remarkable, the glaring differences from when I did my first AIDS ride over 20 years earlier. That ride was from Boston to NY. In those days, the community was fighting for equality on all fronts. Each night there would be discussions on the status of funding for healthcare, research, and progress in the fight against AIDS from testing refinement to better medical and pharmaceutical protocols. To lighten the mood and foster hope for the community numerous commitment ceremonies were performed and witnessed by the large extended family gathered for the ride.
Last year, I signed up for the ride before the outcome of the election. I thought it would be a remarkable time to really understand and experience how far the community had progressed. The success of all those who had worked so hard and passionately to secure equality on all fronts for so many; most notably marriage equality. While certainly the wins remain, it was a somber reality that once again, through the political climate, gains had been lost and the security of other gains targeted.
Today’s climate makes me think so much more often about my days in the hospital as a phlebotomist so many years ago. It was a time when the "epidemic" was out of control, fear was rampant and denial and complacency ended the lives of so many unnecessarily and too soon. I can't help but think, some of those same characteristics are creeping back into the political and social landscape that all fought so hard to extinguish. So for that reason, I continue my support and passion for the cause! The ride and experience is just a bonus - albeit one of the best you could ever experience!
In closing, I hope you will be part of my team and support me as I roll out on June 4th for a 545 mile, 7 day adventure like no other!
Thanks as always!
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