Wednesday, July 15, 2009

Ryan White and Michael Jackson

Does anyone remember when Ryan White was a well known media figure? I think we should return him to the national consciousness. I was reminded about Ryan when I saw an interview with his Mother on CBS news after Michael Jackson' death from what appears to be a drug over dose.
Ryan was a teenager originally form Kokomo Indiana, hemophiliac from birth, and acquired HIV during a blood transfusion in the 80's before people knew about the AIDS virus or tested the blood supply. He was kicked out of his school as many parents were afraid that their children would get AIDS from him. The spread of AIDS was little understood at that time. His parents sued the school and he was allowed back to the school by law---but he was not welcomed. His family moved to nearby Cicero Ind., where due to education at that point, he was more welcomed. he became an AIDS activist and celebrities befriended him and got behind his cause. Like Elton John and Michael Jackson. Ryan White died from AIDS in 1990.
I hadn't thought about Ryan White in quite some time until I saw an interview with his Mother on low-rated CBS morning news a few day's after MJ's death. She was speaking about MJ befriending her son Ryan. She expressed that Michael was a wonderful friend and she never ever was given any reason to be concerned about Ryan and Michael spending so much time together. What surprised me and caught my attention the most was that Mrs. White told how Michael was very concerned about the family after Ryan's death and called them quite frequently and stayed in touch for several years. That is the only interview I have seen with Mrs. White. I am assuming she was invited to Michael's memorial service. I sure never see her interviewed on Entertainment Tonight! I am impressed that MIchael truly seemed to care for Ryan White. His gift to him of a red convertible Mustang was widely publicized but what was not publicized was that Michael cared for the family outside of the spotlight and after Ryan's death.

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