South Carolina, the HIV community, and the world lost a shining light with the passing of Deadra Kaye Malloy this past Friday, August 21.
Deadra was one of the founders of P.O.S.I.T.I.V.E. Voices (Proactive, Optimistic, Sisters, In Touch, Involved, Validated & Empowered), a statewide health advocacy network of women living with HIV in South Carolina. P.O.S.I.T.I.V.E Voices, an initiative of the South Carolina HIV/AIDS Council, mentors and builds leadership skills among women living with HIV in the state. She was also one of the first two co-chairs of Positive Women's Network-USA (PWN-USA)'s South Carolina regional chapter.
Evelyn Scott, a P.O.S.I.T.I.V.E Voices participant, had this to say on her Facebook page on the day after Deadra's passing:
"We lost a solider, a forefront advocate. ... Deadra, it was an honor serving with you. Thank you for helping to open doors for the rest of us; we will make sure to keep them wide open for others."
Deadra was a motivational speaker, workshop facilitator, and local/state/national trainer. Diagnosed with HIV in 1988, she committed the last 20 years to eliminating HIV stigma, educating the community, empowering persons living with HIV, and serving as a catalyst for change in the lives of those affected by this epidemic.
Deadra was also the loving wife of Cleveland Hayes Malloy; the proud mother of four children, Charmaine, Reginald, Sara and Jean-Elizabeth; and the inspired grandmother of eight grandchildren, Kiani, Kai, Ja'Din, Jaylen, Janae, Janelle, Andre, and Nora.
From Jean-Elizabeth Smith, Deadra's daughter, via her Facebook page:
"Wednesday, August 19, my Mom went in for routine surgery for a torn rotator cuff. After the surgery she suffered a massive heart attack from which she never recovered."
"Still praising God right now. My mom lived a wonderful life with people who loved her and she served a divine purpose and raised beautiful kids and was an excellent grandmother sister aunt cousin sponsor sponsee friend and wife ... THAT'S WHAT WE COME TO THIS EARTH TO DO."
These words are from Veronica Brisco, another dedicated P.O.S.I.T.I.V.E Voices sister and PWN-USA-South Carolina member, from her Facebook page:
"RIP, my sister girl. Deadra Malloy we will miss you more than you could have ever known or even imagined. You are a beautiful flower who touched the lives of many and without you so many things would not have blossomed into existence. God has taken you home now to be with Him but your greatness and the memories of you will live on forever. ... Your time here was shorter than I ever imagined it to be but I am grateful to God for bringing us together as long as He did and for our friendship. ...
"These pictures are for you shortcakes. Our last big meeting together for P.O.S.I.T.I.V.E. Voices. We love you."
The poem below was written, and recorded on video, by Stacy Jennings of P.O.S.I.T.I.V.E Voices and PWN-USA-South Carolina:
Deadra even though you're gone
Your Love is here to stay
You are our P.V. Angel
forever and a day
You've always been DEVOTED
Your ENDURANCE was always true
You were ALWAYS there to lift us up
With a DESIRE to see us through
We're really going to miss you
It's sad to see you go
But we'll always, always REMEMBER you
As our P.V. ANGEL, as you sit above
Checking on us down here below
-- Dedicated to Deadra by P.O.S.I.T.I.V.E Voices, August 25, 2015
On Saturday, August 29, 2015, at 2 p.m., there will be a memorial service for Deadra that is open for the public:
Trinity Baptist Church
2521 Richland St
Columbia, SC 29204
In lieu of a repast or a setting-up, we will be hosting an N.A. Banquet Dinner at 6 p.m.
In lieu of flowers they will be accepting donations to cover cost and the remainder will be a donation to the AIDS Alliance.
Give to the Deadra Lawson-Malloy Memorial Fund.
Read Deadra's obituary, from Riley's Hampton Chapel Inc., and share your thoughts and memories in the Guestbook.