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  WINDY CITY TIMES

Ride for AIDS Chicago July 14-15, 2012
From a news release
2012-06-26

This article shared 3478 times since Tue Jun 26, 2012
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On Saturday, July 14, hundreds of cyclists will set out from the Chicago area on a death defying feat. They will bike to Wisconsin and back on a grueling 2- day, 200-mile ride that raises money to fight the disease some of those same riders feared would claim their lives.

Antonio Torres was diagnosed with HIV in 1995, and started taking HIV medicine in 2001.

Since then, he has completed 10 marathons, and this year's Ride for AIDS will be his third.

He is not alone. 90% of the riders either know someone impacted by the disease, have HIV or AIDS themselves; crossing the finish line after the two-day ride is truly a celebration of life.

HIV and AIDS impact over 33-million lives around the world, and over 30-thousand in Illinois alone. For the past 9 years, Ride for AIDS Chicago has raised over $1.5 million to help Chicago area residents living with HIV and AIDS. This year's ride—the largest ever—is expected to bring in over $500-thousand. The proceeds will help provide life-saving support services to area residents. Two years ago, when Torres lost his job and his insurance, he worried he could no longer afford the expensive medication that keeps him well. Money raised by Ride for AIDS helped provide Torres with help, therapy, even supermarket gift cards, until he found a new job.

"I don't know if many [ riders ] truly know how much impact the money that they're raising really helps, including for people like me," Torres said. "The riders truly are saving lives with their fundraising, but they don't usually see first-hand where or who the money goes to. I am that person, first-hand."

He said, "To see their faces when I tell them that yes, the fundraising has helped me personally … it's emotional—for them and for me."

Ride for AIDS Chicago is produced by Test Positive Awareness Network (TPAN). Now in its 25th year, TPAN is Chicago's oldest peer-led HIV service organization. It provides one-on-one counseling, group therapy, treatment education, HIV testing, needle exchange, addiction services, and case management. TPAN also produces a bi-monthly magazine, "Positively Aware", with a circulation of over 90-thousand.

Proceeds from the ride will benefit TPAN and other HIV service organizations including AIDS Foundation of Chicago, About Face Theatre, Howard Brown Health Center, and Chicago House. These organizations provide services such as housing, health care, advocacy and education for people impacted by HIV and AIDS.

LOGISTICS:

Saturday, July 14th

OPENING CEREMONIES (6:30AM - 6:45AM)

Chandler Park

1028 Central Street, Evanston, IL 60201

RIDERS ARRIVE IN WISCONSIN (2:30PM - 5:30pm)

Lutherdale Bible Camp

N7891 US Hwy 12

Elkhorn, WI 53121

Sunday, July 15th

RIDERS DEPART FOR DAY 2 (6AM — 8AM)

Lutherdale Bible Camp

FINISH LINE

RIDERS SHOULD BEGIN CROSSING AT APPROXIMATELY 3PM

Evanston Civic Center

2100 Ridge Ave

Evanston IL 60201

CLOSING CEREMONIES (3:30PM to 6:00PM)

Chandler Park

1028 Central Street, Evanston, IL 60201

featuring Arlen Music and the Skyline Band


This article shared 3478 times since Tue Jun 26, 2012
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