By Jon Barrett
Originally published on Advocate.com January 10 2011 5:00 AM ET
I’m writing this letter from Oahu’s North Shore, where I’m also soaking my feet after running the Honolulu Marathon in support of AIDS Project Los Angeles. In the past 15 months, I’ve completed three such races—and, in the process, my friends and family have donated nearly $20,000 to APLA.
It’s a drop in the bucket when compared to the billions of dollars we need to provide critical services to so many people with HIV or AIDS—and to end the disease once and for all. But by banding together, my friends and I have done more than any of us probably could have done on our own. And that’s what I kept reminding myself between miles 24 and 25 of the Honolulu Marathon—as I climbed Diamond Head for the second time. Running, for me, isn’t a lot of fun. But creating change is exhilarating.
So as we face the possibility of two more years of gridlock on Capitol Hill, I’m focusing on change I can effect myself—with a ton of help from my friends. Want to join me? Check out Team to End AIDS (T2EA.com) for marathon training programs in Chicago and Los Angeles (type “AIDS ride,” “AIDS walk,” or “AIDS marathon” into Google for events closer to home). Or join my friends in their support of my next test of endurance for an incredible cause—the AIDS/LifeCycle (AIDSLifeCycle.org). As I was reminded this past week in Hawaii, I can use all the help I can get. (Please go to MoveJon.org to donate.)