Another week, another runner submission! This one comes to us from the wonderful Scott Brawley who will be running Marine Corps with T2 on his birthday!
Growing up a little gay boy in the 1980s, AIDS was always around me. Coming out in the early 1990’s I had friends that passed away before advances in science and medicine led to HIV infection becoming a chronic manageable disease. I saw the ravages of a community and the damage HIV inflected on a generation. Growing up with HIV impacted virtually every decision I made as a young gay man. Every date, everyone I met might have it. Was this individual worth the risk, would they be here in a year or would I be attending another memorial? Would I be here? HIV even impacted the career choices I made.
I am a social worker. I have worked as a Hospice Social Worker, helping people dying from HIV to exit this world in dignity. I have been a medical Social Worker, helping individuals living with HIV get the vital services they need. I have been an advocate, lobbying Congress for increased money, reasoning with our opposition, pleading for those less fortunate.
I’m not going to lie, it’s been hard. Working most of your adult life to convince people to change behavior, to engage in less risky practices, to seek drug addiction treatment is hard. Asking our opposition to not view gay men and minorities and individuals living with HIV as promiscuous, drug users who are less virtuous is hard. Reasoning with people who have moral and religious convictions to have compassion for those they disdain takes its toll.
I run for those countless workers on the sidelines who every day, help. I run for the advocates who plead, cajole, beg and fight for vital resources. I run for the nurses and social workers who hold hands of the sick and dying and give them hope and love. I run for the youth who educate and inform and teach the next generation. I run for our seasoned elders who fought so bravely in the first years of the epidemic. And, I run for the countless individuals who are living with HIV.
Every step I take, every mile I add, every dollar I raise is for a stranger, yet through it all, they are my brothers and sisters. I run for the TEAM TO END AIDS (T2).
From T2 Alum (and current Marine Corps Marathon Runner) Helen Hua:
Have you ever thought about running a marathon or half marathon and thought it just isn’t possible? That you aren’t a “runner”? I was that girl one year ago when I started training for my first race: the Marine Corps Marathon! It was the most emotionally, mentally and physically difficult thing I have ever done. And one of the very best.
The people in this picture are from my pace group “So Famous.” We ran over 300 miles together and range from 22-65, across different genders, sexualities and races. We started off as strangers and became friends for life. I am so grateful to the TEAM TO END AIDS (T2) for making that experience possible. I can’t wait to train with you again this year.
Please sign up if you would like to be a part of this amazing journey of becoming a “runner” and champion of HIV advocacy!
This is the video that we showed at the First Day of Training on Saturday, May 5.
Do you have a friend or family member interested in training for a marathon, half marathon or triathlon with the TEAM TO END AIDS (T2)? There is still plenty of time to get started! Visit www.team2endaids.com today!
Join the TEAM TO END AIDS (T2)! This wonderful video was made by aspiring filmmaker Madison Hartke-Weber, daughter of T2 coach extraordinaire Rick Weber, who is attends the Duke Ellington School of the Arts in Washington, DC.
TEAM TO END AIDS (T2) has 2 Information Meetings this week! Come learn about T2 and all the events we are training for this year including the following GREAT races:
The Luray Triathlon
The Chicago Life Time Triathlon
Bank of America Chicago Marathon
The Baltimore Running Festival
The Marine Corps Marathon
Come meet T2 staff and runners in person at one of these following locations:
Thursday, April 5 at 12pm - AIDS United office, 1424 K St. NW, Washington, DC 20005.
Saturday, April 7th at 9am - Cleveland Park Potomac River Running, 3513 Connecticut Ave. NW, Washington, DC 20008.
Last year was my 10th year of living with HIV and I had decided to do something just to prove how strong I was. I had decided to run a marathon. As I was thinking this I was flip’n through the WP Express and had came across the T2 ad. Talk about divine intervention. I got online and signed up for the Chicago Marathon and there was no turning back. I now had 1000 more reasons on why I needed to finish what I was about to start and didn’t even know it.
It was such a great feeling of knowing that I wasn’t alone. Knowing that I wasn’t the only one dreading getting up at 6:00 AM just to go running and actually looking forward to it. Knowing that I wasn’t the only one who was having aches and pains from the previous weeks run. Knowing not to worry if I had forgotten my GU because your running mates always brought extra. Knowing that we were all doing this for one common goal. Helping those in need and fighting AIDS.
So this year I’m back and have decided to make the goal extra sweet. I’m not only running the Chicago Marathon, but also the Honolulu Marthon and the Luray Triathlon. I know you’re thinking I’m crazy, but after several months of training you start making connections. You start making friends. You have literally joined an extended family and what’s crazy is NOT coming back and being part of something special and fighting the great fight!
So, until there is no longer a need or until there is a cure I’ll be back year after year. Running for myself. Running for those who can’t and running for those we have lost.
Can’t wait to see old faces and meet some new ones. See you out on the course.
Want to learn more about the TEAM TO END AIDS (T2) in person? Come to an Information Meeting! We have several in the coming weeks so pick the one that works best for you and RSVP today! 202.408.4848 or T2EA@aidsunited.org
Thursday, March 29, 6:00 pm: AIDS United Offices
1424 K St NW
Saturday, March 31, 10:00 am, First Trinity Lutheran Church
Thursday, April 5, 12:00 pm, AIDS United Offices
1424 K St NW
, Cleveland Park Potomac River Running
3513 Connecticut Ave. NW, Washington, DC 20008
Thursday, April 12, 6:00 pm, AIDS United Offices
1424 K St NW, Washington, DC 20005
Tuesday, April 17, 12:00 pm, AIDS United Offices
1424 K St NW
T2’s Metro and Bus ads are popping up all over the city. Have you seen any yet?
Are you or someone you know interested in training for an endurance event in 2012? The TEAM TO END AIDS (T2) has entries into the following events:
Luray Triathlon - August 18, 2012
the SOLD-OUT Bank of America Marathon - October 7, 2012
the Baltimore Running Festival - October 13, 2012
Marine Corps Marathon - October 28, 2012
Honolulu Marathon - December 9, 2012