virus

‘Kids, will you follow me up the stairs?’ We walked into his bedroom. I knew something was wrong. ‘Where is Mommy? What happened?’: HIV warrior details journey with grief, trauma

“‘Lexi has AIDS’ was written in graffiti outside my science class. Soon, the whole school knew. I was spit on, constantly told, ‘I hope you die.’ I was tired of fighting. ‘I don’t care if I die anymore.’ Immediately, my stepmother began planning my death party. ‘Enough is enough.’ A family friend took me to the school counselor to repost the abuse at home.”

‘Forgotten lunch boxes and sweatshirts remain. Untold stories, empty playgrounds. The desks are still full, but empty of the one thing that made them come alive each day.’: Mom says return to school will be ‘a day of celebration’

“The artwork on the walls is full of shamrocks and gold, rainbows, and leprechauns. Spring was right within their grasp. They said, ‘I’ll see you in a little while.’ A little while has gone on longer than anyone imagined it would, but in that classroom, time stands still.”

‘They tell me, ‘Go back to your country.’ Many of my patients ask to switch nurses. I’m not Chinese, and I was born and raised in America.’: Nurse vows to continue to fight ‘despite obstacles’

“I head into the shower and visciously scrub my skin until my eczema flares up to match the raw, peeling skin behind my ears from wearing masks all day. I sleep alone, without my special someone. I park my car in crevices to power nap on a makeshift foam mattress in the back of my trunk after a 12-hour shift to head right into another 8-hour shift. I will continue to fight, no matter the obstacles.”

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