Thirty-four years ago my closest friend was diagnosed with HIV/AIDS. She called me to tell me her diagnosis, and said that she would understand If we never wanted to see her again. But I told her that she was my best friend, and we saw her every week until she died. Very little was available to help her, and she lived for only two and a half years. I promised her that I would do everything that I could to make sure that no one else would have to suffer the way that she did. I am still keeping that promise to her. Since then I have raised over $765,000.00 becoming the second highest fundraiser in AIDS Walk New York history. Last year I raised $63,233.00 and for the third straight year was the HIGHEST FUNDRAISER out of 20,000 walkers. I was presented with a Proclamation from the New York City Council in 2015, received the Humanitarian of the Year Award from the Nassau County Legislature in 2016, was awarded the New York State Liberty Medal Award in 2017 and was chosen Merrick, NY "Person of the Year" in 2018. The recognition is wonderful, BUT THE REAL HEROES OF THIS STORY ARE THE PEOPLE THAT SUPPORT ME. GMHC was there for my friend 34 years ago and is still helping more that 10,000 individuals and their families cope with this terrible disease. Some long term survivors have been dealing with loneliness and isolation for many years. I try very hard to keep the memory of my friend alive, but I would not have been so successful over the years if it were not for the generosity of my network of my supporters who have made it possible. Thank you for helping me to keep that promise that I made so long ago.