Remembering Ryan White
Twenty years ago today Ryan White – the 13-year-old boy from Indiana who put a face to HIV/AIDS, lost his battle to the disease at Riley Hospital for Children. At the time, there was little or no understanding about HIV or AIDS, how it was transferred, who was at risk and how you could protect yourself. Ryan became an advocate, an educator and an inspiration to so many.
Today, organizations such as Women in Motion exist to help women and girls talk about HIV/AIDS. It was once a topic never discussed – a disease that barred Ryan from his school. However, Ryan's amazing story encouraged greater acceptance of students with HIV/AIDS and has educated the public about the disease.
Women in Motion, Inc. (WIM) is a non- for-profit, Indiana-based organization that provides education on the prevention of HIV/AIDS. WIM’s mission statement is "Education is Prevention". WIM’s goal is to educate as many individuals as possible about HIV/AIDS and its co-factors.
“One thing I’ve learned over the years is that the future belongs to those who prepare for it,” said Pamela Goodwin, executive director. “Without education, it’s hard to prepare.”
To date, Women’s Fund has granted $15,000 to Women in Motion for its education and outreach initiatives. Women’s Fund dollars have helped WIM conduct street-level outreach and HIV prevention to high-risk African American females. Women in Motion recently created a Teen Talk program, targeted to teens 13-19 across the city. Jennifer Keller, program coordinator, has seen an increase in STDs in teens. Her hope is Teen Talk can be that safe place for teens to talk, to learn and to feel supported.
Today, as we think back to the struggles Ryan White and his family faced, we are also reminded that the need for education, acceptance and kindness continues. We also should take a minute to celebrate and remember his amazing mother, Jeanne White Ginder, who did everything a mother could possibly do to care for and protect her son while helping him try to have a normal life.
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