I HATE asking for money – hate hate hate it. But for me, there are few causes that hit as close to home as AIDS, and so I push through the discomfort of asking because of what I have lost through this disease, and because I know that through support, we can make a difference in the lives of people living with HIV.
I lost my dear friend, Bill de Lury, to AIDS way back when – when there was no prescription “cocktail” to stem the symptoms and when the stigma associated with being HIV-positive prevented so many people from coming forward and seeking help. Which breaks my heart to this day. The thought of people suffering and dying alone because of shame is something that none of us can allow. It is totally contrary to our humanity. Which is why we are raising money for AIDS Project LA – so that support is available so no one has to suffer with this alone. And ultimately, so that we can eradicate HIV and AIDS altogether.
Which is why Stuart and I are training for the Malibu Nautica Triathlon with T2 Team to End AIDS and on behalf of AIDS Project LA and in honor of William de Lury. This is an International Distance tri, meaning 1.5K swim (from Zuma), 26 mile bike ride (PCH) and 6 mile run (beach – yuck). Stuart and I are doing this as a team, and our name is “Shut Up and TRI” (as in triathlon!). Training is intense and we are definitely in over our heads, but we’re doing this because we want to help make a difference in the lives of people that are living with HIV.
William (Bill) passed away from AIDS almost 18 years ago now. I remember the anniversary of his death like it was yesterday, and because not even two months after Bill died, I got pregnant. Cooper William was born exactly 4 days before what would have been Bill’s 30th birthday.
Back when Bill was sick, finding support was difficult. His dad – a widow and staunch conservative – couldn’t handle the whole thing. So, Bill moved in with us in the last few months of his life, rattling around our house with his IV pole which our dog would routinely attack. In the midst of the tragedy, there were moments that were pure comedy, and Bill and I would howl with laughter, as we did through our entire friendship. When it came time for him to go to the hospital, we just changed our base of operations to his hospital room, bringing in food from restaurants all over LA to coax him to eat. I remember on many occasions we would lock ourselves in his hospital bathroom so Bill could smoke a joint. Of course, we would double over in hysterics at the whole thing, which provided a much-needed stress release in addition to giving Bill (and me, unfortunately) a raging appetite. And finally, as he began to lapse in and out of consciousness, I would crawl into his hospital bed with him and just hold him, as I know his own mother would have done.
I know in my heart that being with Bill, taking care of him and easing his fears through those last few months helped him to pass on. So, APLA and all the work they are doing to support people living with HIV is extremely important to me. Stuart and I are asking you to please show your support to APLA and sponsor Team Shut Up and Tri! All donations go to APLA and are tax-deductible. We have committed to raising $3800, and are only 20% there. We need your support – $10, $20, $50 – whatever your budget will allow – will go straight back to APLA to provide support – meals, assistance for family members – to people within the community living with HIV.