In a few weeks, I will be participating in the AIDS Walk in New York City, which raises funds that help people who are living with HIV and AIDS and helps prevent the spread of HIV and AIDS through education and research. I have been a supporter of GMHC, the organization that organizes the event, for quite some time now, and they do great work in the community. Though I have supported walkers in the past, this year I am participating myself and I need your help to make my personal fundraising goal and our team goal.
Though I grew up in the '80s, when AIDS was just becoming known as a major disease and killer, I was too young for it to impact me much personally. I didn't know anyone with HIV or AIDS until much later in my life, so I didn't personally see the impact this terrible disease had on so many people, but what I did know was that it was a situation that needed to change. Even now, with improvements in treatment and medications, many people with a positive diagnosis live long, healthy lives. But the fight shouldn't end there, because there are still people suffering and dying from this disease.
Did you know…?
- 1 in 5 of those living with HIV is unaware of their status.
- Since the epidemic began, more than 1.1 million people in the U.S. have been diagnosed with AIDS.
- About 56,300 Americans are infected with HIV each year.
- Every donation brings us closer together as a community AND closer to ending AIDS.
In 2007, I lost a dear friend, Jonathan, to AIDS. It was sudden - very few of his friends knew he was sick, and he certainly didn't appear sick when I saw him a couple of months before his death. I think about him often and miss him terribly. I am walking on May 19 for him and for all those who have suffered or died due to this disease.
If your employer matches charitable contributions, please follow these instructions to have the matching amount included in our fundraising total: http://aidswalk.net/newyork/fundraise/matching-gift-information
From our team: Kathleen, Atom, Melissa, Elizabeth, and Shane: Thank you!