Tuesday, August 22, 2006

The Elizabeth Glaser Pediatric AIDS Foundation

The Mission
To create a future of hope for children and families worldwide by eradicating pediatric AIDS, providing care and treatment to people with HIV/AIDS, and accelerating the discovery of new treatments for other serious and life-threatening pediatric illnesses.

The Foundation
The Elizabeth Glaser Pediatric AIDS Foundation is the leading worldwide nonprofit organization dedicated to identifying, funding and conducting pediatric HIV/AIDS research, preventing mother-to-child transmission of HIV, and promoting global education, awareness and compassion about HIV/AIDS in children.

Building upon the successful model it created with HIV/AIDS, the Foundation is addressing other serious and life-threatening diseases facing children through the Glaser Pediatric Research Network. The Network brings together five of the nation’s pre-eminent academic medical centers in an unprecedented collaboration that will accelerate better treatments for seriously ill children, help train the next generation of pediatric clinical investigators, and serve as a united voice to advocate policies that improve children’s health worldwide.

The Donations
Over the past eight years, particpants of the Nautica Malibu Triathlon, and Triathlon sponsonrs, have raised $1.3 million for The Elizabeth Glaser Pediatric AIDS Foundation. With your help, we can continue to keep that tradition alive. Sponsor me as an athlete and make a donation online at the Nautica Malibu Tri Page. Click the "sponsor an athlete" link at the left and type in my first name - Taralyn.

I lost my Mother to AIDS in 1995. I could not imagine losing a child to this disease. Let's use bloggerland for the greatest good and help create "a future of hope for children and families worldwide by eradicating pediatric AIDS."

Pass it along.


Friday, August 18, 2006

Blog the Sixteenth Act I

I recommend spreading her ashes. And I recommend doing it in a way that is most meaningful to you and your family - no matter how wild it may seem.

For 11 years, my Mother's ashes have been resting in the closet of my Aunt's house in North Carolina. That's it. Just sitting there.

I did find it odd that none of us, no one from my Mother's immediate family, had wanted to do anything special with the ashes. But as it turned out, we didn't feel particularly connected to them one way or the other, so it wasn't such a bad thing letting them collect dust where they were.

Over the years, we threw out a lot of random ideas anytime we broached the subject, but nothing ever gave us that "Aha!" feeling that we wanted. Nothing seemed particularly right. For instance, one family member suggested spreading my Mother's ashes in the mountains, which quickly elicited a response from me of, "The Mountains!? When the heck did you ever know my Mother to hike or even exercise?! If we spread her in the mountains, she's gonna slap me in the head the next time she sees me!" And while we spoke quite a bit about spreading her somewhere with lots of flowers, it still didn't seem like enough. For a robust woman like my Mother, who led a very loud life sometimes, leaving her in a colorful yet quite bed of roses didn't seem like it was going to cut it...

Nearly 8 weeks ago, (PS: This will ALL tie in I promise) and coincidentally around the same time I kept having those recurring day dreams, something scary and magnificent happened.

I was sitting at my desk when my co-worker tossed out a random challenge. "Why don't you sign up for the triathlon?" he asked. "You can do it, you've got the balls dog." Initially I laughed, until he mentioned that the money raised benefited some foundation to help sick kids. With some savvy intranet surfing, I found that the triathlon benefits the Elizabeth Glasser Pediatric AIDS Foundation. A Pediatric AIDS foundation. Take that in for a minute... Go ahead and cry if you need to...

In that moment, I felt very warm inside, very peaceful. I wish every time I needed to make a decision I felt like that - that's when my insides know exactly what needs to get done, and how I need to do it, no questions asked.

I found all the info, and within minutes I was looking around to form a team. Thank goodness that this race lets participants form Relay Teams - as I would not have had the wherewithal to complete a triathlon all by myself the first time I participated in one.

I decided that I would do the swim. I didn't realize just then, that I had also apparently decided to face a few more of my life's most challenging fears.

To be continued...