Meg and Fred Valentini's Ride for Life
We are supporting funding for programs effecting the LGBT community, especially funding for HIV/AIDS are at great risk. We must work harder than ever to support TPAN so that the programs and support TPAN provides can continue its policy that no one is ever turned away or asked to pay for services.
It is hard to believe that 9 years ago Fred and I decided to join the former Ride For AIDS. At first we (well I was) were mainly intrigued to see if there was any way a couple of middle aged parents could possibly complete this event and ride our tandem for 200 miles. We knew nothing about TPAN other than it was an organiztion that served the HIV community. I had worked as a hospice nurse in the height of the AIDS epidemic and definately felt connected to the cause, having seen what this disease could do to mostly young, vital, gay men. There was also the fact that our son, Phil, had come out to us recently and suddenly the disease felt very real, very close and very personal.
And so our TPAN adventure began. Diligently, fanatically really( fear is an amazing motivator)we attended every training ride and most of the fundraising events. In less than a month we were hooked. Rarely do you meet a group of people so committed to making a difference; impressive, passionate individuals working to raise funds for HIV/AIDS patients and support programs. To be honest, not necessarily a cause that everyone feels comfortable being associated with. By the time the ride was over we knew we would be back every year for as long as we are able!
This event and this organization has surely changed lives, especially ours. It has become our social network, our physical challenge and an integral part of our lives. We are so proud to be part of the TPAN and RFAC family and are grateful for all our friends and family who have helped us with their generous donations! This year is especially important as we celebrate TPAN's 30 year of saving and changing the lives of those effected by HIV/AIDS.
On September 7th and 8th, Fred and I will again, proudly be joining hundreds of other individuals riding 200 miles in support of the NEWLY RENAMED, 2019 Ride for Life Chicago. We will train every weekend for months, rain, shine, heat and cold- only a minor struggle compared to what those living with HIV deal with on a daily basis.
We are participating in this event to raise vital funds to support HIV services in the community. In addition, through our participation, and with your support we will continue to raise awareness around HIV in an effort to reduce the debilitating effects of shame and stigma associated with HIV/AIDS.
Thanking all of you in advance for supporting our efforts.
We were humbled and excited to learn that the Ride for Life Chicago has named us as honorees with the 2019 Ride for Life Chicago award. Our Ride family has always inspired us, and we feel moved and honored to be recognized. Thanks to all our friends and family for supporting us - and for supporting this cause.
Through the Ride for Life Chicago, thousands of donors and more than 300 volunteer cyclists, advocates, crew, and team members help provide care to 2,000 people every year in Chicago and a lifeline of HIV health and treatment information to more than 100,000 people across the country. Our mission is to empower all lives affected by HIV and its many health challenges. The name “Ride for Life” reflects this event’s powerful impact: every mile, every donation and sponsorship, and every volunteer helps save lives through the work of TPAN and our community partners.
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