Every year for my birthday, I like to give back. It really is a present to me. This year is a biggie and I could use your help!
On June 2nd - June 8th, 2019 I will be participating in an amazing 7-day event that takes over 2,500 cyclists down the coast of California from San Francisco to Los Angeles...545-miles! Count them. It’s alot of miles, but for a worthy cause. I have chosen the AIDS/LifeCycle, as my fundraiser event this year as they are amazing people! Monies raised from this event will be divided between San Francisco AIDS Foundation and the Los Angeles LGBT Center which provide their life saving services to those in need for free! This is their main fundraiser for the YEAR!
I have been wanting to do the AIDSLifeCycle for year now, but let's face it, 545 miles is a daunting task!! So last year I volunteered as a roadie(baby steps) and was in awe of all the comeraderie and acceptance, non judgement, love and support that was ever present in every race, sexual orientation, age and country that was represented. I wish everyone could experience this feeling all over the world, every day! It was amazing to hear people's stories and how everyone came together for one cause. And all those riders raised $16.6 million last year alone! I want to be a part of that! This is the main fundraiser for the YEAR for both organizations. This year I am riding for those that need healthcare, support and to be treated with respect. This year I am 50(that's a birthday plug if you wanted to send my birthday money here) and I will make a difference! We will make a difference
The services provided as a result of this event mean the world to those who receive them, and your support means the world to me. This is life changing for those living with HIV / AIDS. Your donations make programs possible that save lives. Save lives! You! That's pretty awesome power.
We’re working together to make HIV/AIDS a thing of the past. Will you support me by making a donation today? Better yet; will your company also match that donation.
Thank you for any support you can give to this cause. Whether it is words of wisdom, hugs, bike rides together, encouragement or donations.
If you find that you’d like to donate, just click the link below, and it’ll take you to my fundraising page; even if it is just $5; it adds up and together we will make a difference.
Either way, thanks for letting me share. AIDS/LifeCycle is about community and family, and you’re part of mine.
My Personal Web Log
My ride with a butterfly escort. How pleasant!
As I struggled to go up another hill. Trying to breathe through it all, a Painted Lady butterfly passed me! Either showing off or giving encouragement. I'll take the latter. For a good mile I had happy little escort. It makes for a pleasant twenty mile ride
by Michelle Bombardier on Mon, Mar 11, 2019 @ 5:17 PM
Political changes for those interested:
The new administration has made changes that negatively affects the progress that has been made on the lives of those living with HIV and AIDS, and at-risk communities. Here are those changes:
The President's Advisory Council on HIV/AIDS (PACHA) has been disbanded. Since 1995, PACHA has provided recommendations on the U.S. government's response to the AIDS epidemic.
No director for the White House Office of National AIDS Policy has been appointed. (In fact, information about the Office of National AIDS Policy was removed from the White House website the day President Trump took office.)
A new Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) directive allows healthcare workers to refuse to perform health-care services based on personal objections. (This effectively eviscerates the very purpose of HHS to protect the health of all Americans and provide essential human services.)
Constant attacks on the Affordable Care Act (ACA) are starting to take their toll and put millions at risk. Key pieces of healthcare legislation are gone, while 90 percent less was spent on advertising an enrollment period that was half as long!
The World AIDS Day proclamation removed references to gay and bisexual men, transgender people, youth, and black and Latino Americans. Huh?
by Michelle Bombardier on Mon, Mar 11, 2019 @ 5:07 PM
Double your pleasure, match your donation
When considering supporting me, I want to let you know there's an easy way to double even triple your impact. Have you heard of gift matching? A matching gift is a charitable donation by a corporation that matches an employee's donation to an eligible nonprofit organization usually dollar for dollar, but sometimes more!
A stunning $1,054,439 of the $16.67 million raised for AIDS/LifeCycle in 2018 were from matching gifts. So check to see if your company will match your tax deductible donations.
by Michelle Bombardier on Mon, Mar 11, 2019 @ 5:04 PM
Why and I riding?
My cousin died of AIDS back in the 80s; I didn't know him very well but I wish I did. From the stories that I have heard, he was entertaining, admired, loving and loved. I also have close friends that live with HIV, for decades now. I have seen what they have gone through. How something as simple as a boil could persist for months! I have seen the improvements that have made their lives more bearable and better. There are so many avenues of research that have improved the quality of their lives. I am dedicating this ride to the memory of my cousin and to support my friends and, most importantly, this ride is for the people I won't meet and will never meet; those who need a hand and have no one to turn to. I know, if it were me, how grateful I would be for the kindness of strangers.
by Michelle Bombardier on Mon, Mar 11, 2019 @ 5:03 PM
Why is riding so important, an education continued
By donating today, you'll help ensure more people are getting tested, have access to care and will be living healthier and happier lives. Did you know that if someone suspects they have HIV and is tested immediately they can decrease their viral load? Once a person gets their viral load down, it is difficult to spread the virus and virus symptoms can become virtually undetectable. Testing is extremely important.
HIV does NOT discriminate. Anyone can contract HIV through sex or intravenous drug use. It's not a "gay disease" although it affects the gay community the most. HIV rates in Hispanic and Black men are still on the rise. Saying AIDS is no longer an issue is exactly why we still need to do this ride, because it still is an issue. It's just not at the heightened epidemic state as it was in the 80s and 90s because of the medications which are giving people longer lives
by Michelle Bombardier on Mon, Mar 11, 2019 @ 4:58 PM
Why is riding so important, an education
Last year ALC raised $16.6 Million! That money allows both the San Francisco AIDS Foundation and the Los Angeles LGBT Center to provide free or low cost access to quality, culturally competent care for those who need it most. Both organizations have low overheads which means the majority of donations go directly to the individuals they serve. This ensures that those individuals who are HIV positive and don't have healthcare, can get medications to decrease their viral loads which helps stop the spread of HIV. This is a win-win for everybody
"Well, Michelle, they have millions of dollars, they don't need my money." Well, you make a good point but this is THE major fundraiser for both organizations for the whole year and how long do you think that money will last with the cost of research. Last year, not only did they give out close to a million free condoms, provided clean and safe needle exchange, they also counseled clients in health care, social care, law, and provided advocacy and education. Despite what some may think, HIV/AIDS still affects millions, even though it's not currently in the news. In 2016 alone, there were 39,782 new HIV diagnoses just in the US. Some states don't even provide services to help these individuals! Those people must travel to Los Angeles or San Francisco to receive treatment and help.
by Michelle Bombardier on Mon, Mar 11, 2019 @ 4:55 PM