One day I was sitting in the dentist’s chair having my teeth cleaned, when I overheard my hygienist say that she was going to ride her bike from San Francisco to LA in the fight against HIV/AIDS!! I immediately asked, “do you think I can do that?!?” Now here we are 8 years later. I've participated in the ride 5 times as a cyclist, once as a roadie on the ride, one time at home (you know COVID-19, and those 545 burpees), and now I’ll be participating in a different way by riding the miles that I’m committing to ride, here in my neighborhood!
I get 8 months to ride my miles, which sounds great, but may actually be a little more difficult because I’ll have to fit my miles into my everyday life. No more taking a vacation to ride my bike 545 miles. LOL
This year (2020) has been hard on all of us, but the folks at the LA LGBT and the SFAF are still in this fight to continue to provide services to those who are seeking care within their walls. Added to this are the additional concerns regarding COVID-19 on the health and welfare of these individuals.
Not long ago there was a new pandemic facing the gay community. Something that was thought to only affect gay men, with a stigma that these men were doing this to themselves, or that this was a punishment for their actions. At the time not a lot was known about how this was spread, who could “catch it”, was this a death sentence. We see the news now regarding COVID-19 and we hear about people entering the hospital alone and not returning, spending their last moments alone, away from loved ones, because they have this new disease.
When I ride my bike, when I raise money in the fight against HIV/AIDS I’m also fighting to remove the stigma of HIV/AIDS. HIV/AIDS can, and does, affect anyone/everyone. But we have made, and continue to make, great advancements in medical treatments/drugs that allow those who are getting the proper care to live healthy lives. To live healthy productive, loving, fulfilling, happy, lives. When we fight the stigma, we open the door to empower people to get tested with less fear, to know their status. To seek help, or if they receive a positive test while at the LA LGBT Center or SFAF, they are set up with whole person services right away; medical, mental, social, etc.
A lot of things have changed in this world over the past year, but one thing that hasn’t is the need to continue this fight.
Please continue to fight alongside me with your donations, and your support. Together we are making a difference. Together we are making the world a better place. Together we can do this!!
Donating to this cause is made easier by splitting up your donation, if needed. When you select to donate $10 or $25 per month for 10 months, it counts right away as $100 or $250!! What a statement!!
Thank you so much for your support over the past years, and your support this year. You are the reason that I participate each year. I want to make HIV/AIDS a thing of the past. I want to better future for all of us.
Oh yeah, I almost forgot to tell you…Inspired by a friend of mine who has set her goal high, I am committing to ride 3000 miles over the next 8 months!! Did I really just commit to that?!? I can do it; with your support I can do anything!!
If you would like to join me by committing to ride any number of miles, and to raise funds for this cause, please sign up to at togetheride.org. Together we will ride 1.2 million miles, to represent the 1.2 million Americans who are living with HIV/AIDS today.