Greetings and Happy New Year!
On May 31, 2020, I’m riding 545 miles from San Francisco to Los Angeles to raise funds for the life-saving services offered by the San Francisco AIDS Foundation and the Los Angeles LGBT Center. This will be my first ALC ride and the longest distance I’ve EVER attempted. Please support me in this bold cause!
Why am I doing this you ask?
Have you or a loved one ever been sick? Do you remember the doctor appointments, diagnostic tests, 911 calls, and astronomical bills? Do you remember advocating for yourself or your beloved? Do you remember the impact of recovery on your social and work life? Do you remember wishing everything would go back to normal? I do.... and while that journey has made me stronger, wiser, and more compassionate, I've chosen to ride because I never want anyone to go through that again.
Chronic vertigo has positively transformed my life in remarkable ways. I've become a stronger hill climber on my bike, an ambassador for the Vestibular Disorders Association, a patient advocate for cyclists with concussions, and an active member of the Bay Area cycling community. In 2018, I founded Team VeDA Cycling to inspire vestibular patients (like me) to embrace their "new normal" and boldly find a life rebalanced. Since then, I strive to live every day the same way I ride— my gaze trained just below the horizon, steady even breaths, and grooving into the vertigo. Balance, both literally and figuratively, is a true art.
San Francisco is on the path to achieve the UNAIDS vision of "Getting to Zero":
zero new HIV infections
zero HIV deaths
and zero HIV stigma by 2020
I was born in 1988, but I'm friends with cyclists who survived the 80s HIV epidemic or lost a partner due AIDS. Their experiences are the definition of resilience and I'm honored to ride with them in solidarity. "Getting to Zero" is a bold initative and the San Francisco AIDS Foundation (SFAF) is at the forfront of the fight. As a SF resident, I fully support the SFAF's efforts in nurturing an inclusive community and can attest to the results in my own neighborhood. Please donate to help me get to the start line and end HIV stigma by 2020!
My sincerest thank you for all your support. Any and all contributions are very apprecipated! Did you know:
- $50 helps provide free Hep C testing, treatment, and support.
- $100 covers the cost of one HIV Testing.
- $250 provides ten Rapid HIV Antibody tests to test ten people at Magnet, and other foundation sites.
- $500 helps 15 people receive medical benefits conseling to obtain prescription drug assistance.
Remember, your contributions directly serves and preserves the diverse community of the Bay Area. We all deserve equal access to health care despite our race, income, or health status. I personally know what it's like to be turned away due to my health condition. Let's ensure this doesn't happen to those who need it most. With your help, I'll reach my $3000 minimum and be ready to roll with a loud message:
LIFE, LOVE, & HEALTH JUSTICE FOR ALL!!!
Thank you for reading and believing in me. I wouldn't be where I am without your continued support. I love you, appreciate you, and wish you good health for 2020.
Dianne Montances (aka MontanaKansas)
“Groove into the vertigo.”