The hills are many, tall and steep. But there countless are lives to save, and miles to go before I sleep.
June 4 - 10 2017, I'll once again be part of AIDS/LifeCycle. It's that 7-day, 545-mile bike ride from San Francisco to Los Angeles that makes a world of difference in the lives of people living with HIV and AIDS. This is my sixth year raising critically needed funds for the Los Angeles LGBT Center and the San Francisco AIDS Foundation. Six years! It's humbling to think how much good we've been able to do together thanks to your support.
Joining this cause changed my life in a very significant way. I'm part of a 20 million mile journey that still isn't over, so I'm adding another 545 to the tally. I'm back on my bike this year. My BFF Darla will be cruising down the coast in the TARDIS as Doctor Who Sweep returns for a second season. And of course I've been hitting the road on the weekends as a Trailing Ride Leader, helping my fellow riders prepare for the challenge ahead.
My mom inspired me to work in health care and make charity an important value in both my young and my adult life. And though we never got to do this ride together in person, she's right by my side in spirit. But it's all of you inspire me to keep climbing back on my bike year after year. As a child she and I shared a complete shock and incomprehension at the way people living with AIDS were being treated. She would fearlessly correct anyone who spread misinformation about how the disease was transmitted. When I was in high school & college, she ran a homeless drop-in shelter and helped HIV-positive clients connect with the help they needed.
Your generosity has helped me raise over $20,000 for AIDS/LifeCycle over the last five years. That number... It's so very humbling and I can't thank you enough for your continued support. We can't stop there, though! Right now, the Los Angeles LGBT Center is beginning an ambitious project to expand their youth services and provide support to those most at risk for contracting HIV. In order to do that though, they need our help. If just 36 people donate $50 (that's less than 10 cents per mile!), I'll reach my goal of raising $5000 for ALC 2017.
So tell your friends. Tell your lovers. Tell your boss that this is a great way to help people right here in Los Angeles. Together, we can make a difference in the lives of thousands of Angelenos living with HIV and help prevent more infections. Together, We'll keep riding until AIDS and HIV are a thing of the past.