Help Me Make A Difference.
In 1998 when I was diagnosed with HIV, my doctors said I could expect to live for maybe 20 years. It’s been 18 years—and I will shatter that 20 year limit and then double it! Back then, the medications were new and doctors just didn’t know what was ahead for patients like me. I am one of the lucky; one of millions of people living with HIV today and leading healthy, productive lives. It’s not always easy.
Which is why on Thursday, July 21st—next week!-- I will participate in the Red Ribbon Ride, a 300 mile bike trek across Minnesota to help raise awareness and money for much needed HIV services in this state. I didn’t train for this ride. I signed up only yesterday. It won’t be easy, but I’ll get it done.
The other reason why I ride is for this very simple act of sharing my experience with you. I get to reach out to you and say things that are awkward and not easy to talk about in regular conversation. Most important of them all is tell you how thankful I am to you for being in my life and tell you what a difference you have made in my health and happiness. It is everything. So whether or not you can financially support this ride, you’ve already helped make my life a very happy, healthy and vibrant one—thank you!
If you can give, please know that the agencies this ride supports do incredible work for people living with HIV, and with HIV prevention. I know first hand; Aliveness Project helped me get health insurance when I moved back to Minnesota in 2008 and insurance was hard to find. The work these organizations do save lives.
Sadly, we still live in a world where a father in Orlando refuses to claim the body of his son from the morgue because of shame that his son was gay, murdered along with 48 others in a gay club. Sadly, we still live in a state where suicide rates for LGBTQ youth is staggeringly high and HIV transmission rates still persist.
We have come so far since my diagnosis 18 years ago—we still have so far to go. I will never stop fighting.
Thanks for your support. Much love and peace to you all.
And if you’re in Minnesota, come out to the State Capitol on Sunday the 24th for closing ceremony—or if you’re an early riser, come out on the 21st to the MOA for our send off. (Or join anywhere along the route and ride a few miles with me!!!)
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