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Welcome to Denis' Personal Page
After a few years of absence, I will participate once again this year in the Friends for Life Bike Rally organized by the PWA Foundation. It is with great pride that I will be cycling 322 km from Kingston to Montreal for a cause that, after more than 40 years, needs our attention.
There are two reasons for me to participate in the Friends Bike-a-thon:
1) TO HONOUR THE MEMORY AND REMEMBER MY FRIENDS.
Shortly after arriving in Toronto in May 1986, I was fortunate enough to meet a few guys who were just as lonely, lost and destitute as I was. There were 6 of us. The bonds that united us, a mixture of complicity and affection, were mostly a source of comfort. But a spectre threatened us. So, at the time, if you loved someone, signs of affection were limited to a few hugs, nothing more, just in case. It was an unspoken rule. Less than a year later, David confided in me that he had AIDS. Abandoned by his family, he left us barely 3 months later. Tom chose to throw himself in front of the subway rather than go through the same ordeal. Sam left us in 1989, followed by Norman and Paul. Since 1995, they are all just a memory and I have to honor them, to thank them. That's what I will do between Kingston and Montreal.
They were beautiful, they were young, they were full of promise, the Bike-a-thon is my way of telling them that someone remembers them.
2) RAISE AWARENESS
According to the latest Canadian HIV Surveillance Report, 1,722 new HIV cases were reported in 2021, an increase of 5.2% from 2020. Of greater concern, an estimated 6,590 people were unknowingly HIV positive (undiagnosed cases) at the end of 2020, representing 10% of the HIV positive population. In addition, 33.6% of new cases are in the heterosexual population, particularly women. These statistics are worrisome given that despite treatment, there is still no cure.
Given my age and the logistics, this will likely be my last Bike Rally.
More than ever, I need your encouragement and support to help three organizations in Quebec and Ontario that help HIV-positive people.
Thank you for your generous support.
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