What is this all about?
I will be cycling from San Francisco to Los Angeles (545 miles) to raise money for the San Francisco Aids Foundation and Los Angeles LGBT Center. These fantastic organizations work to build healthier communities, reduce new HIV infections, and improve the health and lifespan of those living with HIV. The event takes place from June 2nd to June 8th, 2019. I will be training, fundraising, and raising awareness over the next 7 months.
Why do I want to help?
Not long ago I was completely ignorant of the scale and impact of the HIV/AIDS epidemic in America. Today, 1.2 million Americans live with HIV and approximately 600,000 people have died from AIDS. The HIV/AIDS epidemic began in 1980s and the number of new infections grew every year from 1981 to 1993. Although the number of new infections is declining, there are still about 40,000 new infections every year in America.
Last year I had the opportunity to meet some people living with HIV and they shared their personal stories about living through the HIV/AIDS epidemic in San Francisco. We were all volunteering together to garden and beautify a very special place in Golden Gate Park – The AIDS Memorial Grove. This memorial was built to commemorate the victims of HIV/AIDS and those impacted by the epidemic. My new friends told me about the loved ones they lost in the 1980s and 1990s. They told me how their weekends were booked up with funerals. They told me about the lack of government response and the utter feeling of isolation. They told me about their fear stemming from the lack of information and understanding about the disease. They told me about their friends in their 30s and 40s being confined to wheelchairs due to pain and numbness from the disease. As my new friends told me their stories, I struggled to hold back my tears. I started to feel their pain, their fear, their anger, and ultimately their courage. At the end of our day together, we held hands in a circle surrounding the memorial, we closed our eyes, and we spoke out loud the names of those who died, we prayed for the survivors, and we remembered.
What can you do to help?
If you want to help eradicate HIV and AIDS please donate to my personal page. My goal is to raise $5,000 and every dollar helps. The money will be directed towards the San Francisco AIDS Foundation and the Los Angeles LGBT Center. Thanks for your time and I hope that you will support this worthy cause.