Robert Darrow - Crew # 2056
My story starts 30 years ago, in the 1980's, at the University of Iowa. Back then, the only thing Ronald Reagan would say on TV was GRID. You remember Gay Related Immune Deficiency syndrome? Oh those were the days. During my college years, I lost two roommates, one boyfriend and countless friends to AIDS. One as recently as ten years ago, because you really can't believe that in rural parts of the US, doctors just didn't test gay men for HIV and AIDS. Doctors just couldn't comprehend the myriad of symptoms and maladies on our dear friend, who eventually died from complications.
Today, we worry about access to drugs, losing our insurance, and the younger generations getting kicked out of their homes. Riding and raising money (and awareness) in South Florida provides housing for those who would be homeless, funding for health care - doctor visits, drugs, the sorts of things that I take for granted with my deluxe health care plan, and my comfortable home.
On Friday November 15th, and Saturday November 16th I will join hundreds of other individuals who will ride their bicycles or crew from Miami to Key West 165-miles. Our journey will be one filled with hope, filled with pride, and filled with the dream of a future free of AIDS. This year will mark the 16th year of The SMART Ride journey, I have set an ambitious goal to help raise more $3,000 because I believe what we do makes a difference (and because 100% of the money you donate will go back to the community).