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!
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.
We’re working together to make HIV/AIDS a thing of the past. Will you support me by making a donation today?
My Personal Web Log
I'm so touched by all the donations that have poured in recently. Thank you all so much for your support as AIDS/LifeCycle and their mission mean so much to me. As I continue this path of training and learning more about HIV/AIDS, the lack of education, and lack of access to testing and medical resources, it just hits home how important fundraising and education are to combat the spread of HIV/AIDS and to reduce the stigma around those living with the virus.
As a teen in the 90s, I remember there being a lot of "scare" education with regards to HIV/AIDS with how "easy" it was to become infected by touch such as using a public toilet (not true), and heavy stigma against those who had or even were suspected of likely or eventually contracting HIV/AIDS (namely anyone remotely perceived as gay regardless of whether they actually were or not) and denial that straight men and women could get it. It was still a taboo subject, where many young people were told their relatives died of "cancer" because families were too ashamed to admit the family member was gay or transgender because saying "they died from complications due to AIDS" outed them, even though by then we also knew HIV was also spreading amongst straight people, such as through shared needles and people assuming they couldn't get HIV, thus not being tested and passing on the virus.
Today's youth are in a different kind of predicament with regards to HIV/AIDS awareness and education. Due to cutbacks in education and a false sense of security that HIV/AIDS is no longer a death sentence, education programs are not informing younger people about their risk and continued stigma against those with HIV/AIDS and other infections keeps people from finding out their status. It is shocking to me that according to the CDC, for those under the age of 24, nearly 1 in 2 who have HIV, do not know they do, and it is contributing to the high rate of new infections in that age group. By improving awareness, reducing stigma, and helping make access to rapid testing, we can help reduce the numbers of new infections and help those with HIV/AIDS lead a healthy life in strong community rather than isolated and in shame.
by Jennifer Rogers on Thu, Mar 28, 2019 @ 9:32 AM
Thanks to everyone who has donated so far! It is truly touching how much support you all have given and continue to give me as I train for and raise money for this ride.
January and February have been difficult with getting hours on my bike due to the wet weather in the Bay, but I'm doing what I can with training indoors when it is wet and trying my best to take advantage of the few dry times we've had recently. Not complaining about the rain though, as it is desperately needed in California.
I've also been using this time to educate myself more on how to combat the stigma of AIDS and build more compassionate communities, such as working to provide speaking venues for those living with HIV/AIDS to speak about their experiences and provide insight for how we all can better support them.
Also, Berkeley Buddhist Temple will be hosting an LGBTQ panel on "Coming out and Reconciliation" on March 24th starting at 9:30am, and part of that includes discussion on how sharing one's status is another "coming out" and how our communities can work towards compassionate reconciliation and inclusion.
by Jennifer Rogers on Mon, Feb 11, 2019 @ 12:21 PM
New Year's Eve
2019 is almost here and through the help of so many donors, I'm already at over $800 of my fundraising goal, but I still have almost $2900 left to go! I need the help of all of you who can spare some money to help support the wonderful, life-affirming work that the SF AIDS Foundation and LA LGBT Center do. My "resolution" as it were is to meet my goal by March 31st.
Through signing up to do the AIDS/LifeCycle, I've come to know many more people who are living longer, healthier lives thanks to the medical and emotional support provided through these two great organizations. The extent to which SF AIDS Foundation and LA LGBT Center help the broader community is amazing and it is why I feel it is so important to help provide these two organizations with much-needed funding, especially as federal funding for research and medical support are constantly decreased and the costs for life-saving medicines are ever increasing.
It is not just those who live in California who benefit from the money raised. SF AIDS Foundation and LA LGBT Center also work with many other organizations throughout the US and around the world to provide HIV/AIDS education, testing, and support. In the US, nearly 1 in 8 people with HIV, do not know their status which can lead to more new infections and why testing and reducing the stigma so folks are more willing to get tested is so important. Globally, 2.6 million people living with HIV are under the age of 15, again showing the need for more education and resources to reduce the spread and bring an end to HIV/AIDS.
I'm looking forward to more training rides and doing what I can to help bring more awareness, compassion, and love to those around me.
by Jennifer Rogers on Mon, Dec 31, 2018 @ 10:08 AM
Thank you for your support!
Wow, through all the support so far, you all have helped me raise $501, but I still have a long way to go. Even if you can't help out right now with money, consider telling your friends about my efforts and encourage others to donate!
Thanks again for your support. Its not so much me that you are supporting, but the thousands of people that don't have access to testing services or lack sufficient emotional support be it counseling services or community or do not have access to affordable medical treatments to live a fulfilling life. The financial support you help make available to SF AIDS Foundation and LA LGBT Center are even more important in today's climate where federal funding is being severely cut and politicians are making it more and more difficult for all of us to afford health care.
As far as riding goes, I'm getting back in shape for riding longer distances and I will post weekly updates on how my rides are going. 545 miles is not just about a single day's endurance, but to be able to sustain that over 7 days. And it is not just flat riding, we will be going up and over mountains and riding along lots of rolling hills, but what better place to train than on the hills throughout Berkeley!
by Jennifer Rogers on Mon, Nov 26, 2018 @ 6:01 PM
One month in!
Thank you to everyone who has donated so far! Your support will help so many through education, testing services, counseling support, etc. I've still got a long way to go, so please help spread the word! If 14 more people donate at least $37 each (in honor of my 37th birthday), I'll reach the first $1000 of my goal, and if 88 people donate $37 each, I'll fully meet my goal of $3737!
With Transgender Day of Remembrance approaching on November 20th, here are some ways that the funds raised from AIDS/LifeCycle go towards helping the transgender and gender non-binary communities through the SF AIDS Foundation and Los Angeles LGBT Center:
$250 could provide necessary funding for our weekly TransLife Support Group to discuss health and wellness issues and build community to give people the support they need and the family they long for.
$500 covers a full year of medical supply costs for 20 clients.
$1000 enables 80 trans and gender non-binary clients to meet weekly and build meaningful connections.
In terms of training, I'm taking it slow and steady. Berkeley is a great place to train with all of its hills and it feels like doing long, slow climbs aren't nearly as bad as when I trained for my first century ride back in 2010. I look forward to also being back in OC and taking on some of my old routes, like the slogging climbs up Newport Coast or San Joaquin or the ride through Santiago Canyon! I'll share some pictures of my rides in the next update.
by Jennifer Rogers on Mon, Nov 12, 2018 @ 2:15 PM
A New Year
Celebrating my 37th year, I'm taking on new challenges and finding new ways to give to others, to live my core beliefs, which is often hard to do as a full-time graduate student in Buddhist seminary school.
As you may or may not know, about 8 years ago, I took a big leap into long-distance cycling. I completed a 100-mile ride through Ventura and Santa Barbara in 9 hours, raising over $2000 for a cause close to me.
Well, I'm back at it again, this time with AIDS/LifeCycle, and not just 100 miles, but 545 miles over 7 days, to help raise awareness about HIV/AIDS and get donations to help fund programs that offer testing, education, access to medical treatments, etc. My fundraising goal is a modest $3,737.00, which will go towards helping San Francisco AIDS Foundation and the Los Angeles LGBT Center with their missions of ending HIV/AIDS.
I feel it is important to have a renewed push for HIV/AIDS education as it seems that many people feel HIV/AIDS is longer a crisis and thus not something they should care about or take care about. While it is true that there are many newer medicines like PrEP, a pre-exposure drug that can help significantly reduce infection rates, and other drugs that help suppress HIV, allowing people to live longer, there are still nearly 40,000 people newly infected every year and about 1.1 million people living with HIV in the United States.(1) There is also still a huge stigma surrounding those with HIV, including but not limited to: judgments about their character and personal choices, discrimination, harassment, etc.
In Shin Buddhism, we are taught that all beings are accepted /just/ as they are, without judgment. We also try to practice the six paramita, one of which is dana, selfless giving. I try to live by these teachings and while I don't have much money to give, I do have my time, energy, and determination to encourage others with more means to help. So I ask that those of you who can provide some money to this wonderful cause, please do so. Every little bit helps and each of us can do our part in helping spread compassion and wisdom and help ease the suffering of so many.
Namo Amida Butsu
by Jennifer Rogers on Tue, Oct 09, 2018 @ 8:22 PM