April 8, 2010

April 8, 2010
In Memory Of Ryan

Welcome to another day in my life. Today is Thursday and while it is a beautiful day here in South Florida, I will be so busy I will not have time to get out and enjoy it.

It is a long day of meetings, conferences calls, a dentist appointment, working on the website and catching up on emails and requests. But I definitely can not complain about having nothing to do. LOL. Sometimes, I wish I could split myself into three people to get everything done and still have some free time for myself.

For those of you who never knew Ryan White, today is the twentieth anniversary of his passing. I first met Ryan when we were both testifying to Congress on needing funding for HIV and AIDS in the late 80s. He was just a teenager but impressed not only me but Congress when he spoke about living with HIV and AIDS. Even among hardened politicians, I do not think there was a dry eye after Ryan finished speaking. It was one thing for them to hear from a 20 something year old gay man with a teddy bear like me. But when they heard from a teenager who caught HIV from a blood transfusion, it really nailed the message home from them.

Ryan and his mother Jeanne helped changed the public perception about HIV and AIDS from being just a gay disease to something which could affect and infect anyone. They also helped make history when several months after his passing Senator Edward Kennedy championed the funding for people with HIV and AIDS that would be named Ryan White funding.

Ryan White funding now helps over 600,000 American men, women and children with HIV and AIDS deal with the high cost of trying to pay for medications, housing, insurance and other needs. I am sure if Ryan was still alive today, he would still be fighting as I do for additional funding and research for our community.

In Remembrance of Ryan Wayne White (December 6, 1971 April 8, 1990) an American teenager from Kokomo, Indiana who was thrust into the Global spotlight when he was diagnosed with AIDS and put one of the first faces that the American Population could relate the true nature of the AIDS Epidemic Onslaught Through! You help change much in your short life Ryan and you are sorely MISSED!

It just goes to show how one person can make a huge difference in the world. So what about you? What are you doing to make a difference?

I know when my time comes I will have done everything I could do with my health and resources. And for that I thank my parents who taught me when life gives you lemons to make lemonade and to help those less fortunate than myself.

Those are my thoughts. What about yours? Drop me a line and let me know.

Until we meet again; here's wishing you health, hope, happiness and just enough.

big bear hug,

Daddy Dab