I am a proud member of the Collective Bias® Social Fabric® Community. I have been compensated as part of a social shopper insights study for Collective Bias and their client Walgreens and EMPOWERED the Greater Than AIDS campaign. The opinions and story are my own.
Today I am sharing a personal story to support Together We Are Greater Than AIDS
I’ll never forget the Christmas when reality hit me about my Sister, like a ton of bricks had toppled over my head, I felt like I was dizzy and sick all at the same time. My sister’s boyfriend had called me to say, “Yes, we will be there for Christmas but we are bringing the Motorhome…Julie has to lay down and stay warm.”
What?! The motorhome?
My sweet little Sister had informed me a few weeks before that she was HIV positive.
I hadn’t seen her for a while, at the time I had a six month old and I had been very busy… I was excited to see my family for Christmas and yet I knew that I was the only one that knew that my Sister had been sick. She had been having a lot of weird symptoms and infections and refused to go to the Dr. until things started to look serious. I wondered what she would be like when she arrived at the party…
Laughing and joking… kids running around excited for gifts. Food galore and fellowship..where was she? What was taking them so long to get to the party? I was getting more anxious by the minute.
Then she walked in…ever so slowly, her 3 year old jumping and running and hugging everyone, leaving her Mom far behind. Along with the hugs and kisses there was a sort of silence as we all watched my Sister struggle to walk to a chair and sit down. She had a huge down jacket on but was sooo cold.
Nobody had known she was sick like this, not even I knew she was growing this sick and weak. Her HIV was quickly turning into full blown AIDS…
She loved babies…she wanted to hold my baby…she wanted to feed my baby from her plate…I was in a panic and withdrew, making excuses so that I could get him away from her…. I was so ignorant.
Shortly after that Christmas, Julie sought more medical attention but began to withdraw from any medical help due to the fact that she had stumbled upon a population of people that did not believe that AIDS was real. They believed that AIDS was conjured up by the government…a secret plot to make money off of the weak by mass producing pharmaceuticals for this so called AIDS.
Julie stopped taking her medications and over the next few years would be in and out of nursing homes for those with AIDS.
It broke my heart…and still does, that she got sucked into such foolishness. We could not convince her that she needed to take her medications to stay well and live.
I believe to this day that it was just a way to stay in denial. Denial that AIDS does not exist and that somehow she would just get well all of a sudden.
I prayed and prayed that God would heal her, I mean that would be best…right?! God’s ways are not our ways…I had to face that.
Let’s you and me break that denial… alright? Denial is NOT a river in Egypt and it’s time to stand firm and stand up and be empowered with truth. AIDS doesn’t just live in Africa, it is alive and well in the United States. It looks like you and me…and my Sister. She was not homosexual, as many have stereotyped an AIDS victim to be. As a matter of fact my Sister contracted AIDS from 1 person that she was in a long term relationship with.
I love that Walgreens is partnering with Alicia Keys in the Greater Than AIDS campaign. If you have time and want to learn more about some extra ordinary Women that are living a life EMPOWERED and living with AIDS…you can hop over to the Greater Than AIDS website. It is worth your time and will touch your heart. There is also tons of other information on the website such as Facts about AIDS. Don’t be ignorant as I was in the beginning..My Sister passed away at the very young age of 38 leaving behind an 8 year old daughter… two weeks before my daughter who is now 13 was born. It was the hardest time of my life and I miss her dearly but she is in heaven with Jesus and I can’t wait to see her again someday.
Support those that have AIDS..Jesus did not come for the well but for the sick… and so let us be His hands and feet.
I wonder do you have a story like mine? How do YOU feel about someone with AIDS? Does it bring fear like it did me?