In 1993, I was one of the early AIDS Action Committee participants to walk for the cause in a Boston event called the AIDS Pledge Walk.
Back then, unwarranted stigma associated with HIV was particularly evident. For instance, when asked if it would match donations, EMC didn't want its namesake associated with HIV in any way whatsoever; a virus, no less.
Many of my fellow employees in EMC Engineering knew this was wholly discriminatory and made donations regardless of the controversy. Their gesture may not seem like much now, but it was a big deal then. I'll never forget the positive feeling of receiving my first donation from Joe Murphy. It gave me hope for the future.
I think those with HIV still experience unwarranted stigma even today. It's amazing to say that because, again, it's a virus!
As folks donate to my cause now, 24 years later, I feel hopeful again, that these fundraising efforts, at the very minimum, do the important work of diminishing ignorance about those with HIV, and in turn, any other misunderstood medical condition.
Here we are in 1993:
Meanwhile, it's been tough getting on the road because of weather and scheduling conflicts, but I was able to get a little training ride in yesterday after work: Lexington17
65 days until the event kicks off in San Francisco! ... Thank you ALL who have already donated -- I am 61% to my $5,000 goal!