James Nicacio, Selma, Calif.; Diagnosed in 2001
My biggest fear was telling my mother. My mother and my sister have been so close to me. They always want the best for me, so it was really difficult for me to tell them. I felt like, in some way, I was letting them down -- taking life for granted, in a way. Here I am trying to tell my mother -- the person who gave me life -- that, because of some of the bad choices and mistakes I made in the past, my life might be taken. But when I did tell them, it felt like a big relief.
They were the only people that I really cared about telling. I didn't mind if anyone else knew, but I really cared that my family knew. When I did tell them, they said that they loved me no matter what and that they were going to support me, and give me every opportunity to take care of myself. Once I knew I had their support, and then I could move forward.