From 1999-2005, I rode in 7 AIDS Rides. I took a year off to crew in 2006, then returned and rode three more times from 2007-2009. From 2010-2017, I was a member of the support crew. After 8 years off of the bike, I have changed my registration for this year's ride from crew back to rider. Why? Because I did the math and realized - this will be my 20th AIDS Ride. Not only that, but this coming December will mark the 20th anniversary of my brother's death. And as if all of that weren't enough, the second day of this year's ride falls on September 15th - my birthday. All of that together meant simply - it was time.
I won't lie - I'm nervous. The last time I rode in one of these rides, I was almost 10 years younger, and quite a bit fitter. But I will do my best to train and be able to ride as far as I can. And I won't forget - as challenging as the ride will be, it will be nothing compared to the daily struggle that people living with HIV face each day. And for me, the most important part is returning to an active role in raising money for Housing Works, an organization I have grown to treasure and respect for all that they do. Your donation will go right to work providing housing, medical and mental health services, and advocacy on behalf of people living with HIV/AIDS.
For the first time, we have the tools to end the AIDS crisis. With new tools and new political will – and the ongoing leadership of Housing Works – we have a plan in place to end AIDS as an epidemic in New York State by 2020. On day 2 of the ride, that morning of my birthday, we will begin the day with a gathering on the steps of the state capitol in Albany, all of us showing with our presence and effort that we will not stop until we end this disease. And it’s not just New York: the United Nations has established 2030 as its target date to bring global infection rates below epidemic levels.
These are real goals backed by real science. If achieved, they will change the course of history. But they will only happen with your help.
The minimum fundraising goal for each rider on the ride is $3500. But to honor this important milestone ride, I have set my initial goal for $10K. With your help, that is a completely achievable goal. Your generous donation is fully tax-deductible. If your company has a matching gift program, you can multiply your gift by taking an extra moment to provide the information needed. And if you'd like to give a large donation but be able to pay it over time, that option is available on the donation form. Just choose an amount to give each month, then select "Monthly" instead of "One-Time", and choose how many months you would like to donate that amount.