David Page via Crowdrise
January 10, 2012
BENEFITING: AIDS Project Los Angeles
ORGANIZER: AIDS Project Los Angeles
EVENT: Honda LA Marathon 2012
In the the next 48 hours your donation will be matched!!!
I’ve decided to take this new found love for running and put it to good use by running the LA Marathon. I really hope you will support my efforts.
2011 marks the 30th anniversary of the first formal report of the disease. And, the week after the marathon marks the anniversary of the passing of my brother Jimmy. Because of that, and the fact my brother was one of the first to be diagnosed, I can’t think of a better time to do this.
Early on it was hard for people with the virus to feel accepted. When my brother told me he was HIV positive in the late ‘80’s, I was the only one in the family that he would confided in. Because of his fear, and at times rightly so, I had to keep his secret from our family for 10 years. He was afraid to tell people because of all the judging, bigotry and at times anger from a large part of the country that blamed gay men for the disease. My brother finally told my family many years later. The reaction is not what he expected, because there wasn’t one. Only a concern for a child who was suffering. I can only imagine what it must have felt like for him to finally have it out in the open. For the burden to be lifted.
Two years later my brother passed away a couple of weeks before Christmas. He was 37. Even though he had passed, the one thing my brother worried about would soon be real. You see, my brother was cremated and wanted a ceremony of remembrance. The funeral was a simple one, an easel on each side of his urn that held a collage of photos in a very large frame. One collage was the early years consisting of black and white photos of his childhood. The other collage was the later years with color photos. This was to be a celebration of his life. The minister, from our families very open congregational church, got up to speak. After he said a sentence or two I noticed that a word was mentioned more then once. I had to concentrate and listen to make sure that what I was hearing was actually being said. Well it was. The minister went on to use this word twice more by saying, “James has sinned and now he is paying for his sins.”
We have come a long way since Jimmy was diagnosed. Even though there is still much work to be done, it doesn’t have the same stigma. But one thing remains the same, the need for funds to help people living day to day with the disease. The last few years of my brother life he was on Social Security and he lost his health insurance. If it wasn’t for groups like APLA, my brother would have had no where to turn. For example, the medications were so expensive, he would not have been able to afford them. Groups like APLA added years to my brothers life. And for that I am grateful.
Please join me in doing all that we can to bring an end to this epidemic.
Ask yourself, “What can I go without this week?“ A cup of coffee, a pack of cigarettes, a martini? Give what you can. Every donation, no matter the amount, is appreciated and needed.
Please donate today. Thank you on behalf of all the people who will be helped with your donation, and for helping me honor my brother Jimmy.