I am a wife and mother of six children, one who was born with HIV over 27 years ago, and have been living with HIV myself for over 30 years. Recently I was awarded the 2020 Leading Women's Society award, where 20 women in the nation were recognized for their work in the HIV field. My husband and I travel the country to speak and share and have done many media type things, nationally as well as internationally, talk shows, radio and television news programs, CBS Nightly news, many local and national newspapers/magazines and are currently writing a book on our lives. Cecil Murphy, who is a N.Y. Times bestselling author (90 Minutes in Heaven and Gifted Hands, The Ben Carson Story), is funding our book. In one calendar year, the door was open for us to do 394 programs… for 40,000 plus people, and for that we are very grateful. This does not include health fairs, TV interviews, etc.
My husband has been shot, stabbed, beat up, pulled out of a car and beaten, etc. Lesley, our daughter who is HIV+, was sexually assaulted, had a city soccer league team forfeit a game when she was younger, as parents didn't want their children playing against her. My husband and I have been fired from jobs, my family kicked out of a church, all because of HIV. We were also ridiculed for choosing to have children knowing we were both HIV+. Our children together are now 17 and 19, and are NOT HIV+. Lesley is now 27 years old and has a daughter of her own. Gabriella is now a smart, spunky, HIV negative, 6 year old. In 2000, we launched a program called Straight From the Heart of Florida, where my husband and I share our experiences and message of hope with people all over the state and country.
Why Tracey wants to be part of A Girl Like Me: My goal is to help spread the word… to let other women/girls know that there ARE others just like them and that they are NOT alone. Even though no two circumstances are exactly the same, there will most likely be some similarities. I want to encourage others that no matter what they may encounter in their lives... there is ALWAYS HOPE and that there IS life after HIV. I HAVE and AM living it as are many others.