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Witti Repartee

Witti Repartee

Although I love to bike, the members of Team Eagle had another idea: Team Angel. I was terribly honored and flattered to be asked to serve in that role ... and that's enough of the honors, there's work to do.

I started to write a paragraph about how critical the LGBT Community Center's programs on HIV are, but realized: People reading this must know that already or they wouldn't be reading this page. Go visit www.gaycenter.org for more information on the specifics.

You're reading my page because you want to know why this is important to me ... and more importantly, why it's important to you to give to a cause that's important to me.

The summer between ninth and tenth grade, I was working on a community theatre production of Anything Goes and simultaneously dealing with coming out publicly. There were six gay men in that production who all acted as big brothers/sisters to me. Three of them were the first three people I knew who died from complications from AIDS.

I recently received a call from a dear friend whose partner had just been diagnosed HIV positive. The partner's already been going through a rough patch, and this news didn't help. My friend needed a shoulder and an ear, and I was there.

Earlier this year, I met an amazing young man who had been diagnosed positive two years ago, who at this point isn't letting it change his life.

I recently took an HIV test myself, administered by a friend who hugged me as the result became clear. "Not you," he said. "Don't let it be you."

HIV and AIDS impact emotions. Though a diagnosis no longer carries the death sentence it once did, the initial trauma of diagnosis is still very real. It's still very scary, and for some people, it's paralyzing. The Center provides professional support when a friend's shoulder isn't enough. It provides a community of people working through the same issues when someone is struggling to keep it together. It provides testing and counseling when HIV hits close to home. But it also provides very real education so people can make the best choices for their own behaviour, and it provides condoms and lube, and a place to meet people in a supportive environment.

HIV and AIDS can create emotional tremors and earthquakes, creating cracks in even the strongest of foundations. The Center is here to help provide stability, support and relief so that people, like you, like me, and like every single one of my friends infected or affected by this insidious virus, can be stronger tomorrow, next month, next year and for as long as it takes to bring this epidemic to an end.

Supporting Team Eagle is supporting a stronger tomorrow.

Click here to make a donation in support of Witti.

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275 miles, 3 days, 1 Destination - THE END OF AIDS