Thank you for joining me in this cause! I’m excited to share my AIDS/LifeCycle journey with you.
As most of you know, I’ve been involved in AIDS LifeCycle since 2011 when I started training to participate in the ride in 2012. Some people take exotic vacations when they turn 50. I trained for a 545 mile bike ride! [and somehow managed to coax Gerry into riding as well!].
That would be my FIRST year! I proceeded to ride again in 2014 [without Gerry who roadied that year due to back surgery] and 2016.
After me battling a number of physical injuries including a torn hip labrum, we spent a year off the bike and participated as Sweep Roadies in 2019.
And most of you already know my story. I ride and roadie in memory of my dearest friend Chris. Ten years my senior he was my best pal, the big brother I never had, my mentor, my confidant, essentially, my everything at a time when I needed all of that. In my early 20s and far away from home (first living in Washing DC attending college, then making the move to Los Angeles upon graduation). He taught me pretty much everything I needed to know; how to find a job, an apartment, hobbies, the works! Sadly, he was diagnosed HIV positive shortly after our move to southern California. But due to the financial resources at his disposal, and the (then) revolutionary AZT treatments, he lived another 10 years! But in November 1998, he now had AIDS and sadly passed away at the age of 47. One of the most devastating losses in my lifetime to date.
I had never heard of AIDS LifeCycle and was eager to find a way to somehow memorialize Chris and support others suffering from this catastrophic illness.
One of the most meaningful experiences while I was training was the day they had the riders come and visit the clinic that was supported by the funds we raised for the ride. My friend Chris has plenty of financial support, but so many gay men and women, especially at that time, did not. THIS clinic was literally their lifeline, and so I was sold! My first year I raised over $5,000. Second year just over $7,000, and years 3 & 4, with your generous support, raised more than $10,000 EACH YEAR!
Until one has experienced an event as significant as AIDS LifeCycle, one will never know the impact such an event will have. Imagine roughly 5,000 people riding and roadie-ing down the coast of California from San Francisco to Los Angeles over 7 days, all for one purpose and one purpose only, to raise funds and awareness for those impacted by AIDS.
And so we’ll be Sweep Roadies again this year with a goal to match and then beat my previous efforts of $10,000. It’s especially important this year and the ride didn’t happen in 2020 or 2021.
Thank you for your life-saving donation!