On Sunday May 15th I had the absolute pleasure of being able to attend the first in-person AIDS Walk in New York City since Covid first began. I'm so glad it's back.
I first began doing the walk in 2017, two years after I was first diagnosed. I was looking for something to do to get more involved. I wanted to take this diagnosis that I let bring me down for so long and finally make something good out of it. I was tired of being sad and angry about it. At my first walk I felt this overwhelming feeling that I can't really describe. It was something powerful for me to see SO MANY PEOPLE walking and supporting people like me. I wondered how many people there were positive like me. I was inspired by the end of that walk. I knew then I would do this every year. A few months after the first walk, I began taking trainings for my NYS peer certification.
The second year I raised enough money to do the 5 mile run. I was immensely proud of myself for completing that run. I trained myself for a few months for that run and felt stronger than ever crossing that finish line.
Then finally, in 2019, I completed the walk with my daughter, which was a whole other experience in and of itself. I found out I was positive when I got pregnant with her. She has basically been on this entire journey with me from the very beginning. She had been to every appointment I had when I was pregnant and long after (I took my baby everywhere with me), and having her there with me always comforted me. Completing that walk with my baby girl is a memory I will always cherish. One day when she's old enough and I tell her of my status, I hope she will feel how important doing that walk with her was for me.
This year I did the walk with a family member who knows of my status and is so supportive. It was a beautiful day and I'm beyond happy we can get back to doing these in person.