Photo Credit: Poprock Photography
Board Member Stories
Michael Condel Member-at-Large
"I believe in the work that we do because it adds a great deal of value to the community. The RAIN organization places a face on the HIV/AIDS epidemic. It provides positive guidance and support to our clients which result in mutually beneficial relationships. We learn as much from our clients as the clients do from us. The face of RAIN brings a caring touch and voice to a horrible epidemic. I am proud to be a part of the RAIN family in being able to make a difference in so many people's lives."
Charlotte DeLavalle Member-at-Large
"RAIN is a community response to an epidemic that has infected and affected out families, friends, and selves. I am humbled by the acts of kindness, compassionate care, and strong faith that is the core of RAIN. As the community's needs change, RAIN has adapted to meet those needs."
You cannot escape the responsibility of tomorrow by evading it today. - Abrhaham Lincoln
"Only two weeks after being matched with my CareTeam, I started having problems. Two days before Christmas, I had to be hospitalized. Throughout my stay in the hospital, my CareTeam took time away from their own families to make sure that I wasn't alone. The thought of being alone on Christmas Day was a sad one, but short lived - my CareTeam made sure of that!
Now that I am at home and gaining my strength back, my CareTeam continues to amaze me with the amount of love and compassion that they have shown me. RAIN truly fills a need and I am grateful for all that you and your staff continue to do for those of us infected with HIV."
Ed Harrell WALK Committee Member
"I remember the first time I heard the word AIDS. It was during a casual conversation with a friend about a new disease. That was in the 80's and since then I have lost too many good friends to this tragic disease.
One very special person whom I have lost and who inspired me was David. He tested positive in 1986. In 1994, with no T-Cells, his disease had progressed from HIV to AIDS. At the time, AZT was the only approved drug and there were harsh side effects for those taking AZT. Therefore, David chose not to take it. His outlook on life was, "This disease has enhanced my life; it's taken my attention away from that which is not important and refocused on what is important." David never lost focus on what was important in his life even through the toughest times.
I have never forgotten David's outlook on life and I always try to focus on what is important in my life, no matter how complex things become in the world around me.
I walk to remember the many "David's" who used their personal battle with AIDS as a resource, a stepping stone, a learning curve for those who battle today. I also walk to continue to educate people with HIV and AIDS and to raise awareness. HIV does not know gender, a race or a community. It knows no boundaries and has no limitations - it affects everyone.
I walk with AIDS WALK Charlotte to remember those who have lost their battle to AIDS and to all who continue to struggle with this dreaded disease."