Welcome to My Personal Page
Every year, when I start my annual fundraising campaign to raise funds for AIDS Vaccine research and awareness, the date at the top of this letter is the same - April 10. It is the date that my oldest brother Donald lost his battle with HIV and AIDS. This year marks twenty-one years – April 10, 1998 – since Donald died. Donald was a gifted artist, a passionate and loyal friend to many, a delightful brother, son, and uncle, a bright beacon of joy and life lived fully. He was an inspiration in life and remains so today, twenty-one years after his passing.
When my brother’s fourteen-year journey under the menacing sentence of HIV and AIDS ended, it began a different journey for me. With the involvement and participation of many immediate and extended family members, friends, and coworkers, we have tried to carry on Donald’s battle in the same way he did in the years before he died – from the saddle of a bicycle, riding for a reason. Donald not only fought a very personal battle with the HIV virus, but he also rode his bicycle to raise funds and awareness for the larger global battle to end HIV and AIDS. Twenty-one years ago, the battleground on which he fought was horrific, with millions having died as the AIDS pandemic raged unabated.
Today, much progress has been made, the global spread of HIV checked and a new mission coming into focus: ending the AIDS epidemic by 2030. However, progress towards that goal has slowed. The 2018 UNAIDS Global AIDS Update is titled “Miles To Go”, and the report relates how the rates of reduction of the most significant metrics (new AIDS infections, and deaths due to AIDS) have fallen off the pace needed to meet the intermediate global goals set by UNAIDS for 2020.
Miles To Go… As I begin my twenty-first year of riding for this cause, it may seem understandable that we have become somewhat complacent. After all, we are indeed far removed from the darkest days of the AIDS epidemic in the 1980s and 1990s when an HIV or AIDS diagnosis was a certain death sentence. But that complacency is a real threat to the achievement of the ultimate goal: to identify a cure and a means of prevention for HIV and AIDS. So, still with Miles To Go, figuratively and literally, I come to you asking for your support as I get on my bicycle and ride for a reason. I will take my bike on the road with me, heading to Atlanta on May 18-19, 2019 to participate in Action Cycling Atlanta’s 2019 AIDS Vaccine 200. I will attempt to complete 200 miles that weekend while raising funds that go directly to supporting AIDS vaccine research at the Emory University Vaccine Center in Atlanta. The Emory Vaccine Center is an epicenter of academic research and development of vaccines for both chronic and infectious diseases, focusing on the continuum of vaccine research, from basic science to clinical trials to vaccine policy. Read about Emory Vaccine Center at http://www.vaccines.emory.edu/.
Dr. Rafi Ahmed, Director of the Emory Vaccine Center, has stated that every dollar of private funding given to an Emory scientist is typically leveraged into seventeen additional research dollars in the form of federal grants. In this era of potentially reduced federal funding of research, the availability and leveraging of private funding is even more critical. So, once again, I come to you to ask that you shed any complacency and give as generously as you can to support the leading-edge research efforts at the Emory Vaccine Center that will lead to a vaccine and a cure for HIV/AIDS.
Please donate on-line at http://www.av200.org at your earliest opportunity, or return the enclosed form to me with your payment. 100% of your pledge will go directly to supporting research at the Emory Vaccine Center.
Action Cycling Atlanta is a federal 501(c)(3) tax-exempt organization and your donation is fully tax-deductible. Please give generously, so that this vital research can continue, and so that generations yet to come may know of HIV and AIDS only as grim shadows of what once was. Thank you!
If you think this page contains objectionable content, please inform the system administrator.