Dan Ebert: Why I Walk
Dan Ebert, a long-time AIDS Walk San Francisco participant, shared with us the many reasons why he walks and brought us to tears with his words. Below is Dan’s story. If you would like to share with us why you walk, please email us at email@example.com.
Dan showing off his AIDS Walk San Francisco 1995 T-shirt
Why do I walk?
I walk because my last partner, Doug, and I had a phone list of nearly 300 friends, colleagues, and acquaintances in San Francisco, Los Angeles, Palm Springs, and New York. In 1986 we lost about 50 of those people, including some of our previous partners, business associates, and wonderful friends. In 1987, another 70 or so ceased answering their phones.
In 1988 I lost Doug because I had no medical authority over his treatment, and his mother chose to not let the hospital administer the medication ordered to treat his PCP [a lung infection that often affects people with HIV]. He died four days later. I walk because I lost all but about 29 people on that list over the next couple years, and several more I met in support groups over the following several years.
I walk because they cannot. I walk to tell young people volunteering at the third AIDS Walk checkpoint where I work each year what it was like, and why it should never happen again. I walk because, by some strange twist of fate, I take a handful of pills a couple times a day and I’m still here. I walk because not everyone who needs it has the $2,000 plus every month to spend on medication, or adequate food to maintain their state of health.
I walk because I can.ShareThis