WESTFIELD, Mass. (WWLP) – Dozens of supporters gathered at Stanley Park in Westfield today, raising money for a disease that takes 14,000 American lives each year.
The AIDS Foundation of western Massachusetts has hosted the event for 17 years. It raises money for local prevention education and emergency financial assistance program, which helps those living with HIV and AIDS pay for medical bills and living expenses.
The event reminds the community that hope and hard work can be the greatest cure of all.
Tonya Miller told 22News, “There’s nothing in this world that affects me more than the positive that came from the negative of my diagnosis. Of course we all have the first, initial thought that it’s a death sentence. It’s not about dying no more.”
Volunteer Sandi Coyne said, “The most important thing is to never forget. You know we’re all in it together whether you’re HIV positive or negative, the disease can be eradicated if we all consider every choice we make.”
Every 9 and 1/2 minutes, a person in the U.S. becomes infected with HIV.