Help Kevin Reach His AIDS Walk Goal!

Why I Run? Because you never know who is suffering from HIV or AIDS?

Please join me in supporting Whitman-Walker Health by supporting the Washington AIDS Walk. Only four more days to help me reach my $5000 fundraising goal. Please help support if you can by clicking here.

After 30 years of AIDS there continues to be major stigma around HIV. While treatments have improved, awareness is greater, and more people get tested, there are still significant obstacles to conquer. As a clinical social worker at Whitman-Walker, my work is to help HIV+ individuals overcome the shock of the diagnosis and cope with the emotional trauma, educate on how to take care with multiple medical issues and treatments, and coach folks to adhere to medical treatment, even when they are exhausted from the treatments. Sometimes my work is to also empower my clients to become advocates not only for themselves, but for newly diagnosed people, as well as educating HIV negative folks on prevention. Sometimes the work is pretty heavy and often I cannot tell the stories, but here is one I can.

It is common that in this day and age, that you often don’t know who is HIV+. Earlier this year I was surprised when my favorite barista became my client. We both had the same reaction “what are you doing here?” After years of serving me coffee, now it was my job to serve her. I helped her work through the grief of the diagnosis, prevent her from being evicted, manage some issues with addiction, share her diagnosis with her family, and eventually help her return to work, briefly. She reminded me how full life can be with a terminal diagnosis. She had the funniest jokes, the most insightful poetry, and then keen ability to support the “outsiders” in groups and make them feel at home. Unfortunately, for my favorite barista her condition was too advanced for current medical treatment. So my service became helping her reconcile her own dying process. This is not easy work for anyone. At her memorial, it became obvious how many people she touched. During her life she uplifted and supported so many individuals with small gestures of kindness and support. It is for her memory and the memory of my other clients that I run. Even small contributions matter.

Please support today!


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