songquake: (Default)
[personal profile] songquake
Hi, everyone!

I was born in one of the first years of the AIDS crisis—back when it was known as GRID (Gay-Related Immune Deficiency), and nobody knew it would become a worldwide, horrific epidemic.

My childhood spanned the 1980's, and I spent it in New York City. My parents lost friends. I helped my mom make quilts for babies with AIDS. My family walked out of church when a priest called AIDS "God's cure for homosexuality."

I participated in my first AIDS Walk in 1991. That was the fifth year of the walk (this year therefore being the 25th), and it was an incredible experience. I was not-quite-thirteen at the time, and walked with my mom and a couple of kids from my Catholic middle school and their parents (the team had been organized by our English teacher, Ms Young).

Since 1991, I have seen AIDS become manageable relative to how it was in the 1980's, but people are still dying, both around the world and here in New York. I'm currently working as a chaplain on the unit set up for treating HIV+ patients at Roosevelt Hospital (it involves comprehensive care with specialized social workers as well as a greater proportion of patients who have contact precautions or are in isolation due to being immunocompromised). I have friends who have contracted HIV, and friends who have died. The crisis isn't over.

I walk most years, and enjoy it. I was pretty much convinced until yesterday that AWNY would take too many spoons and leave me unable to work next week. But I took a long-ish walk yesterday, and think I can at least get to the first subway station at the park exit. So now, a mere three and a half days before the event, I've signed up.

I know many of my friends have little or no money to spare, but those of you who can, I'd greatly appreciate a contribution of any size. The site suggests a donation starting at $25.00USD, but you can fill in any amount.

http://aidswalknewyork2011.kintera.org/bethrkelly


Thanks to everyone who decides to contribute!

Date: 2011-05-12 04:11 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] angledge.livejournal.com
What a wonderful cause for you to spend your spoons on. Love you!

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