We begin the New Year sharing a ‘feel-good’ story with a very positive ending. On August 27, 2015 we blogged about ‘A Positive Teen on the Run’. Philly, a young HIV+ boy who had been a member of the VMS Support Group from the tender age of 7 was the star. Teresa, our cherished VMS PC volunteer, reported that Philly was always “sickly and depressed” because he was not scholarly and had aged out of VMS. But his passion, his hopes and dreams were all tied up in running, the one thing in which he excelled.
Your donations to HFL helped Teresa put together a group of teens who called themselves ‘Positive Teens on the Run’. Slowly, donation by donation, 24 “extraordinary, determined and goal-focused adolescents” became proud, confident competitors no longer defined by stigma, poverty or discrimination.
Earlier this month, VMS hosted a World Aids Day ceremony with over 300 attendees. Some of the older support group teens spoke openly about their HIV+ status, the purpose of support groups, the importance of testing and the folly of being “ashamed”.
Philly stood out as keynote speaker. He stood tall and spoke about the change in his life through the VMS running club. He showed off his medals and had the audience laughing as he repeatedly called for “no stress and must relax”.
THIS is what YOUR donations do. They save lives and build futures. Thank You and
Happy New Year!
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