Tuesday, April 27, 2010

Giving Back For Real, Pt. 2

I had this Penzo Uncle; he was the baby of the family. He was also my Padrino.

(see that little girl with her back to the camera in the dark blue jacket & messy hair? C'est moi!)

Somewhere along the way Padrino got hooked on drugs, and his addiction ended up taking his life by way of a little epidemic you might have heard of: AIDS. We weren't particularly close, but he died during my sophomore year of college so I was very aware of the circumstances surrounding his death and I visited his frail shell of himself in the hospital and it was a bit jostling.

You know, every disease that's out there that's killing people en masse doesn't seem real until it takes someone you know personally. AIDS was just an acronym to me, a condition that seemed really sad in movies like An Early Frost or And The Band Played On, but it was too abstract for me until I got that call from my Penzo Grandmother about Padrino. AIDS will take you down, my friend, no matter how you contract it, it will take you down.

I say this as a precursor to asking you to sponsor my BFF Alex in the Chicago Half Marathon in an effort to raise money for the AIDS Foundation of Chicago. I understand money is tight so I won't pull out the machete this time. But if you believe in the cause and have a few dollars to spare, it'd be awesome if you could donate.

I'd love to be able to say I saw the cure for AIDS in my lifetime...

*smooches...hoping this epidemic stays away from the rest of my loved ones*
actually, I'd like ALL epidemics to stay away from my loved ones; how about that?!