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I RUN PROUD with T2.

In October 2016, after watching Graham run his first Chicago Marathon, I decided that I would embark on a journey of my own. I wanted to run a marathon. I was not a runner. At all. My sixth-grade teacher had shamed me during a softball game with the boys, running alongside, taunting me as she said: "You run like a girl." As a twelve-year old who was becoming acutely aware that I was gay, this mortified me. I did my best to "hide" anything that made me stand out from the straight boys. At that moment, I decided, I had to avoid running. Flash-forward to 2016, I was a fully-out, very proud married gay man with two daughters. Still, however, I let her voice ring in my ears. I watched that mental six-second video in my head time and again.  

It was time to stifle it. It was time to redefine myself. I laced up my shoes two days after watching Graham and 40,000 other runners accomplish an amazing feat. I could have worked up to a marathon by running some shorter races. Instead, I dropped a pin on October 2017, registered with Team to End AIDS and decided that I WOULD run a marathon in one year's time.  I accomplished that goal on October 7, 2017.  I felt liberated. It made me realize that anything one puts one's mind to IS POSSIBLE. I also found great reward in raising money for a cause that is important. One that impacts the world - it discriminates on nothing - age, race, gender, sexuality. 

The following year, I signed up for my second year with the team. I ran the Chicago Marathon for my second time and created a new challenge for myself by running the Dublin Marathon three weeks later. This marks year three for me with T2. I am running the Chicago Marathon and three weeks later the New York City Marathon.

Running a marathon takes considerable time, dedication, mental stamina, strength, and commitment. It has a personal benefit to it, which is the reward of completing a race after putting in months of training.  The bigger reward is knowing that along with my friends and family, we can all save lives and put an end to new HIV infections.

HIV/AIDS doesn't make headlines often these days, but that doesn't mean it's been cured or that it doesn't change people's lives every single day. In 2015, 921 Chicagoans got the news that they are living with this incurable disease: a record low since the start of the AIDS epidemic in the 80s, but still, far too many than should get that news. AFC is depending on me (and you) to support people living with and affected by HIV. They're making sure that people living with the virus have equitable access to housing, health care, case management and other supportive services. I care deeply about AFC's work, and that's why I'm running 26.2 miles in October! It's also why I'm running 26.2 miles again in November!

Help me cross the finish line, and help thousands of people live better lives. Donate to my T2 campaign today. Just click the DONATE TO ME button to the right to get started.

 

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TEAM TO END AIDS
200 West Jackson Blvd. | Suite 2100 | Chicago IL  60606
312-690-8850 | https://www.aidschicago.org

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