Friday, December 16, 2005
The Ryan White Story
The Ryan White story has been widely publicized. This was a young man who contracted HIV at the age of 13 from blood products used in treatment of his hemophilia.
During a time when HIV was not fully understood, Ryan and his family went through a a frightening amount of persecution. He was expelled from school in his hometown of Kokomo, IN and was ostracized by his friends. His mother was even the subject of rumors that she was somehow the cause of his illness.
Ryan's bravery during his ordeal was a source of strength to his family and led to increased public awareness of a misunderstood subject. What happened to this young man could have happened to anyone, given the lack of knowledge in the early 1980's.
Ryan's mom, Ms Jeanne White-Ginder continues the outreach begun by her son and gave a presentation at the University of North Carolina at Charlotte the evening of December 3rd. It was an emotional presentation, and also eye opening. There were more than a few tears that evening. It left a definite impact on me personally.