…And their courage to stand for the betterment of their kind. Unsung Heroes of their own clan!
Death, basically another word for END, in its true context, can be of anything, any emotion or feeling, any relation, any negativity or positivism, confidence, or most importantly a personality. Death has many forms, some more dangerous and painful than others, some more gruesome and horrid than others. But the worst kind of ends of persons are those that are really slow yet painful, killing a meager amount of self each day, diminishing the self-confidence and the wish to live.
Also called as a slow poison, Human Immunodeficiency virus(HIV) is a disease which focuses on attacking those parts of our body that are required and are responsible for preventing infections and other serious diseases like cancer. HIV has all reasons we should be scared of. It is just another name for death, for the reason that there is no cure for a person who is suffering from this disease, and also for the fact that it is barely recognizable until it reaches the state of AIDS.
Also, people suffering from this disease are often looked down or treated as untouchables and avoided as much as possible, because, lets just face it, everyone’s life is dear to them. Isn’t it?
But, our world has now become a significantly better place for people who are suffering from such life-taking diseases with many celebrities coming out of their comfort zone and speaking about the disease and standing up for people who are likely to be suffering like them and are ill-treated.
The world has seen many celebrities who have suffered/suffering from such diseases and have taken a stand to spread a word about it and do what all they can on this base using their popularity as a means.
Here’s a list of some of the world’s most favorite celebrities who have unfortunately suffered this disease and found it comfortable enough to let the world know about it.
1. JERRY HERMAN
Any music lover from the old times would definitely recognize this great soul, who is a famous american lyricist, having won recognition and awards for his work including a lifetime achievement award for his work in the theater. He had known of him diagnosed by HIV way back in 1984, which was nothing less than a death sentence to a living person, since the timing also played an important role and their was significantly no positive support for the disease and people suffering from it in those days unlike how it functions today.
But, Herman has been an accepting person, always taking what life has to offer him with a smile, and he geared himself up to say a final good bye to all the people he loved, and all the people who loved him.
But destiny had other plans for him, and he has fortunately been recovering and becoming better and better as the days go by.
He had lost his seven year old companion to this disease and still didn’t let this disease lower his morale and self confidence and used this as a mans to grow and learn to be positive and accepting towards life.
If he can defeat the disease, why can’t others do it?
2. Justice Edwin Cameron: He was a judge at the supreme court and played an influential role in promoting and justifying gay rights and HIV/AIDS. Being a victim of HIV himself, he understood the importance and need of promoting and publicizing the details and effects of a disease as harmful as HIV with no proper cure available that could finish this disease by the root. He contracted HIV in 1980’s when he was working as a high court judge and became extremely ill.
He has described how he dealt with his disease and what all he went though while struggling with the disease in his book titled “Witness to AIDS”, which won a prize.
He is truly an inspiration for people affected with AIDS.
3. Chuck Panozzo: An American musician for the rock band Styx, Chuck has been diagnosed with AIDS since a long time and has announced this only in 2001. He is a positive personality and focuses on the challenges that comes when being a part of a famous rock band and living with a life-taking disease. He feels a lot better now, and owes his positiveness to his family and the band who ensure they do anything they can to have chuck stay healthy.
He got involved in campaigning for the awareness of HIV and did his bit to spread the word about it to benefit people who are suffering from this and let them know that they are not alone.
This explains that people can outrun any obstacle, any disease they are struck with, only if they have positive vibes around them, and only if they work on sending the same to others of their kind too.
4. Steve Moore: He was an American stand-up comedian who was famous for his role in Drop dead gorgeous(A Tragi-Comedy): The Power of HIV-Positive Thinking which revolved around his life and experiences whilst living with a disease like HIV on a lighter note, with a pinch of comedy. He talked about HIV and his experiences as a speaker a lot of times and continued performing small time comic roles to support himself. He died in 2014.
He made us believe that we should be content with what we have, and never be ashamed of what defines us, even if it means publicizing about a life taking disease like HIV and take pride in what you are, so that this will help us in working towards the betterment of others too beside our own selves.
5. Charlie Sheen: A famous American actor, when asked about what has changed from the time he came to know of his suffering from HIV in an interview, Sheen said:
“I feel like i am carrying a torch for a lot of folks out there suffering from the same thing.”
He had opened up about his diagnosis 4 years after he came to know of it, and says he feels a lot much better now and is forever grateful for the care and treatment he has been provided since his diagnosis.
He is now trying to live a normal life and has resumed acting.
His courage is commendable, since he has not allowed a mere disease to stop him from continuing to build his career and working until his last breath. He also shows us a path that HIV can be treated as just another disease and sidelined, not letting it interfere majorly with our lives although this cannot be ignored completely.
6. Magic Johnson: An American retired professional basketball player and current President of the basketball operations in Los Angeles in NBA, Johnson had publicly announced his retirement in 1991 due to his diagnosis of HIV. But in a later interview he stated that he regretted his decision of retiring , that he wished he had never retired after being diagnosed with HIV, saying, “If I knew what I know now, I wouldn’t have retired.
Johnson created a “Magic Johnson foundation” to help people dealing with HIV.
After 20 years of his diagnosis, Johnson is still strong and positive and hasn’t let HIV lower his morale and his love for his life.
7. Freddie Mercury: A British singer, songwriter, and a lead vocalist in the rock band Queen, Freddie was among the first rock stars to die of AIDS. Though he was strong and accepted his condition, he suffered a lot due to the disease, when the pain eventually became unbearable, and the medications weren’t of much help either.His condition worsened so much that he felt the urge to end his life pretty soon, so he stopped taking his medications and only took painkillers to lessen his pain and go a step closer to death, but remained positive and made the most of his last days by singing and recording as much as he could.
His legit courage and a lot of well wishers had him going until his last breath, and this attitude of his helped him make the most of his last days.
8. Keith Haring: An American artist who got famous for his unique art and graffiti that was often addressed to social issues like HIV/AIDS. He strongly supported the idea of being safe and knowing when getting physically intimate with a person, which usually is termed as the main cause for spreading of a disease such as HIV. And he blatantly expressed his ideas through his graffiti which gave insights about HIV among his other works.
He founded the Keith Haring foundation to fund for the AIDS organizations and create an awareness among youth about HIV. He suffered from HIV/AIDS and eventually died due to the same cause.
Now, whats much better than someone who has experienced a thing is trying to save the nation through their impeccable talent of graffiti? His work will be remembered and looked upon for ages now for the impact it has managed to create on the youth.
9. Mykki Blanco: A rapper and a poet, Blanco has suffered from HIV since 2011, and is not ashamed to share this news with her fans, and although it had affected her initially, she has now learnt to live with it positively. She had announced this news with the public at a point when she was visibly faring well in her musical career, and knew that there is a possibility that this fact may bring her career down, because not usually a singer is expected to have fun and HIV at the same time.
But fortunately, the support and love she has received has only pushed her to do more and stay positive.
10. Greg Louganis: An American Olympic diver, Greg has publicly announced of his diagnosis much later when he felt he would die soon of AIDS. But, even at the age of 56, Greg is now living, healthy and fit and he owes his fitness to his decision of continuing his treatment and taking meds on time. Says the fit diver, ” I think HIV has helped motivate me mentally and physically. I look at working out and doing something physically active every day as being as important as taking my meds.”, on being asked about his secret to staying fit even after being diagnosed with HIV.
Lets take inspiration from these heroes who’ve fought for their lives and didn’t lose hope, and some of them continue to do so.