#TeamRae -- Chicago AIDS Walk 2011 #FunTimes
By Rae Lewis-Thornton
October 4, 2011
This piece originally appeared in Rae's blog, Diva Living With AIDS.
I didn't think that I could do it this year. My health, as you know has taken center stage and interfered with a good portion of my life. As I debated the yes and no of the Chicago AIDS Walk, some of my devout members tweeted me often asking about the team, so with less than two weeks from the walk, I went ahead and signed up #teamRae.
I got off the IV medication on Friday and I shook off whatever I was feeling physically and participated with my team. The walk is always fun and it's for a great cause, service organizations that treat people living with HIV/AIDS.
The Core Center where I get all my health care is one of the recipients. There are times when I need to get medication from there. Like the cream I use to treat my herpes infection cost $700 for a small jar. So I'm grateful for the AIDS Foundation of Chicago leading the way each year to create additional funding for Chicago's AIDS Care.
When I first arrived to the walk I thought that we would have only five people on the team, but some of last year's team members started to filed in one by one and two by two. And each time, we all jumped with joy and hugged with excitment. We even had some new members this year and they just folded in like they had always been a part of #teamRae. We had 11 members in total and we had a blast walking Chicago's lake front.
And the star of the show was my little Miss Sophie. She was a hoot! When she wasn't riding in a man's arm, she was strutting her stuff like a Diva Poodle should.
Missing from the team this year was my old lady Nambi. At 15 1/2 it was time for Doggie Heaven... I miss my baby RIP Nambi
Ok so next year I have a goal of at least 50 team members and to ensure that it happens, I took that responsibility out of my hand. What's the point of having a team and no help? So I am proud to announce that Antonia, but everyone calls her Toni, is Team Captain. You can find her here twitter @ itsToni and on Facebook @ www.facebook.com/ItsToniS
Or if you email firstname.lastname@example.org I will forward all the information. There is a $25.00 sign up fee from the Chicago AIDS Foundation and we will be having #teamRae t-shirts next year. I will try to keep the cost at $20-22. So save your money.
Lastly, you can still donate to my team. They have not yet closed out donations Click this link. I'm so glad Toni kept asking me about the walk for this year. It was what I needed to help lift my spirit. I'm just so honored that people believe in my work around HIV/AIDS and show their support in so many different ways. The Chicago AIDS Walk is one way to be visible in this fight against HIV/AIDS.
Rae Lewis-Thornton Speaks
Rae Lewis-Thornton is an Emmy Award-winning AIDS activist who rose to national acclaim when she told her story of living with AIDS in a cover story for Essence Magazine. She has lived with HIV for 27 years and AIDS for 19. Rae travels the country speaking and challenging stereotypes and myths about HIV/AIDS. She has a Master of Divinity degree and is currently working on her Ph.D. in Church History. Rae has been featured on Nightline, Dateline NBC, BET and The Oprah Winfrey Show, as well as in countless magazines and newspapers, including Emerge, Glamour, O, the Oprah Winfrey Magazine, Jet, Ebony, the Washington Post and the Chicago Tribune, to name a few. She earned the coveted Emmy Award for a first-person series on living With AIDS for Chicago's CBS News.
Rae is an active user of social media -- read "Long-Term HIV Survivor Discovers the Power of Twitter," an article on TheBody.com about Rae's social media activities.
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