Ryan White: A Boy With a Legacy
My memory of Ryan White, unfortunately like most others, centers around breaking the bigotry over school attendance and as the most well known child with the disease AIDS when not much was certain about the virus.
An entirely different view, the view described in this video, is of a gentle, accepting, tolerant, forgiving and very, very… very brave boy.
I’m glad I got to see this video. Thanks Ryan
The old adage “familiarity breeds contempt” is, perhaps, no more true than in the case of the AIDS epidemic. I call it an epidemic cause when 1.2 MILLION U.S. citizens are living with it daily (34 million world wide) I think it’s time to call a spade a spade. And that was in 2011, the last year we seem to have tallied the stats.
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A Boy With AIDS
Ryan White was a child born with hemophilia (a blood clotting disease) at the unfortunate time when the AIDS virus had become an epidemic. The treatment of his hemophilia with blood products gave him the AIDS virus through no fault of his own. His life was thrust into turmoil, but perhaps not so much because he had been given a terminal disease as because of the needless bigotry he had to endure.
Despite medical opinion and advice to the contrary, Ryan’s school district was more afraid of bigots than medical evidence. Some thought Ryan’s mother insensitive in putting Ryan through the litigation necessary to reverse the weak school board’s stance. Just the opposite was the case and we all owe the Whites a debt of gratitude. Their actions became the catalyst for better handling of blood products by the Red Cross and blood banks everywhere – people stopped getting AIDS from transfusions. Public awareness made the lives of those with the disease easier to live and congress got to hear the testimony of a brave, brave boy.
We’re talking about ‘travel diseases’ which should be considered before taking a trip ‘abroad’ either with or without the family in tow. Yes, from the standpoint of living in the U.S. most of these seem vague and ‘out there somewhere’ but not associated with our daily worries.
The summer travel season is upon us, at least here in the U.S., and for most of us it means dusting off the car games for the kids to use between bathroom stops as we cruise across the country on vacation.
Over 15 years ago I wrote an article bemoaning the fact that we were into a generation where even grandmas, the traditional mentor of first-time parents, hadn’t seen a case of measles; and what a loss of valuable information passing across generations.