https://www.glwd.org/blog/donalds-story-living-with-hiv-recognizing-world-aids-day/

Board member Melba Wilson with client Donald

12.1.21 / Community

Meet Donald, living with HIV since 1993

There is something very personal about World AIDS Day in New York and at God’s Love We Deliver, now being commemorated for its 33rd year. It is a time to stop and remember our friends, neighbors and loved ones who we lost too early, too young. It is a time to strengthen our resolve to persevere until the end of the pandemic happens. And it is a time to recognize and lift up our community of people living with HIV who deserve the care and support they need while they manage their illness and treatments and live their lives.

God’s Love was founded at the height of the AIDS pandemic, bringing love, dignity, and care to people living with this terrifying illness. Our founder, Ganga Stone, saw a need and immediately responded, bringing hundreds of volunteers to this life-affirming work, and being a support during such a dark time. What Ganga started so many years ago lives on to this day as we serve so many clients living with HIV. Clients like Donald.

In 1993, Donald, a professional singer and legal secretary, was diagnosed with HIV. At 38 years old, he began to lose weight. Loss of vision and hearing left him unable to work. He was immediately connected with God’s Love and doesn’t remember a day in the last 28 years without meals, saying, “After all these years on the program, God’s Love has grown and expanded, and the quality has never changed. There has never been a low point.

Donald receives ongoing nutrition counseling from dietitians at God’s Love — and he even remembers receiving a holiday meal delivery from Joan and Melissa Rivers in the ‘90s. This year, Donald received a special Thanksgiving meal delivery from Melba Wilson, who owns Melba’s Restaurant in Harlem, and recently joined our Board of Directors. She delivered meals in a brightly decorated bag and the two connected over life in NYC and the care that God’s Love We Deliver provides.

Donald is grateful for his weekly deliveries and tells us “God’s Love We Deliver saves my life 14 times a week.”

Until the end of AIDS, God’s Love remains committed to always being there for those living with HIV, and for all of our clients, as we believe in the power of food and nutrition to heal. Today, as one God’s Love community, let us renew our commitment to our neighbors in need as we look forward with hope to a world without AIDS.

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