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Top Stories This Week in the Chronicle.
December 1, 2006

World AIDS Day Special Issue

Jeanne White-Ginder helps supporters remember her son Ryan

Dayton--�All I ever wanted to be is a mom,� says Jeanne White-Ginder. But in the late 1980s and early 1990s, she became one of the nation�s most recognized moms as she stood alongside her son Ryan to fight for his right to attend school after his AIDS diagnosis.

On November 11 and 13, White-Ginder met with AIDS Resource Center Ohio supporters, clients and staff.

�People talk about the Ryan White CARE (Comprehensive AIDS Resource Emergency) Act and sometimes forget that there was an actual person behind that name,� she said in her presentation.

Ryan White was one of the first public faces for HIV in the late 1980s, when he fought his home town and the courts to attend school after he was diagnosed with HIV.

AIDS Resource Center Ohio board member Dr. Jill Waibel was one of Ryan�s closest friends before he died and was instrumental in bringing White-Ginder to Dayton for the presentations.

�Ryan taught me strength. He was instrumental in leading me to my life path in medicine� said Waibel.

Ryan and his mother left Kokomo, Indiana after they won the battle to allow him to attend school. His family moved to Cicero, Indiana, where he was befriended by Waibel.

�World AIDS Day is a perfect time to reflect on our past. And with this year being the 25th anniversary of AIDS in America, Jeanne�s presentation was especially poignant,� said ARC Ohio executive director Bill Hardy.

�There was barely a dry eye in the house,� said Nora Vondrell, associate executive director. �I was close to Ryan�s age and remember hearing about his struggles back then. Here we are almost twenty years later and some of our clients still face similar discrimination and stigma for being infected with the disease. We have many clients who are not comfortable sharing their status at work or even with friends and family. The isolation that comes with that is distressing�.

AIDS Resource Center Ohio provides support and assistance to people infected with HIV and their loved ones. With offices located in Dayton, Lima, Toledo and Mansfield and a geographic coverage area of 35 counties, ARC Ohio will provide services to over 1,500 HIV infected and their loved ones in 2006. For more information about AIDS Resource Center Ohio and their services, please contact 937-4612437 or www.arcohio.org.

Jen Zeff is a development associate and executive assistant at the AIDS Resource Center Ohio.

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