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AIDS advocate speaks at event

Rochester, N.Y. - The boy who fought for the right to go to school ended up teaching the world about compassion and the dangers of ignorance, as well as AIDS.

It is a legacy his mom carries on today.

If you hear the name Ryan White, chances are you would think of the first known boy diagnosed with AIDS.

Almost 25 years later, we can still learn from Ryans story, through his mother, Jeanne White-Ginder, who spoke Friday at an event for Catholic Charities Community Services.

I never wanted to believe he was going to die, White-Ginder said about learning her 13-year-old son acquired AIDS through a contaminated blood treatment.

In 1984, Ryan was among the first children to be diagnosed with the disease, which was unknown at the time. His school told him that he could not return.

Ryan White went to court to fight for his right to go to school and won.

Were all going to die. Its how we live our life that counts, White-Ginder said.

She said that her advocacy is part of a promise she made to many people, especially those in the gay community who helped her family when others shunned them.

Ryan White made many celebrity friends in his life, including Elton john, who told White-Ginder that Ryans death motivated him to go to rehab.

I was a proud mom, White-Ginder said.

 
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