Who Inspires Me

I'd like to say that the Positive Prevention Train the Trainer was the inspiration for me venturing into the world of social media and sharing my story but I can't. I can say that the course empowered me to do it. I've confessed several times, when I went into the course I had my mind made up that I wasn't going to do anything with it, I didn't have the confidence to do anything, my mind wasn't as open as it needed to be even for my own good. But I had the ability to change.

I was already heavily involved with a couple social media sites, mostly for friendship and family communications. Then I saw how organizations and companies could get the word out as to what exactly they were doing. If you read something online or view a video on YouTube, all you had to do was copy the URL or address and plop it into your status box on facebook or twitter and click “send” and it could go around the world in seconds. This meant I wouldn’t have to stand up in front of a group all the time and speak about it all, it was the best way for me to get involved and do something.

"I often thought, someone should do something about that and I realized, I am someone."

So if you've been following along with me here and on PositiveLite.com you will see what I've been able to contribute. I have also inspired others to get into it. My belief is that we need to put our stories out there and if we are brave enough, put a face to this disease and try to end the stigma attached to HIV. The NEW publisher at PositiveLite had been following me and wrote under a psuedo-name for a couple blogs and then he asked to talk to me about going public. He's a great writer and a great addition to PositiveLite. Just knowing I have people reading my blogs is the greatest reward.

So, just who did inspire ME. I'd have to say, hearing stories from the longterm survivors was the greatest inspiration. All of their stories of what it was like to live on the older medications, how they lost so many friends and acquaintances, and how they are still here. One of my favourite people to listen to is ACG's very own blogger Church Mouse. I encouraged her to write and man did she ever have a powerful debut, she really had me close to tears. I knew she had so much to share and people were listening to her when she talked. I'm so proud of her, she is so brave.

I had the pleasure to tell Church Mouse that our efforts to promote her blog in the social media, someone far away had picked up her story to share with their followers. There is this site called paper.li , anyone can create their own newspaper page, they find stories on other sites and copy them to their paper. When I told her, she was so excited, she went online and told everyone that she had gone viral, she wasn't wrong. She wanted to know the numbers/the hits she was getting and I told her that when someone clicked to read her story, it brings them to the ACG site where the blog is posted.

I am now a witness to how she has inspired others to do blogging as well, one person in particular is "The Dreamer" a.k.a. John Henry Rombough-Daviewho thanked her in one his blogs here at ACG. John has since moved on to PositiveLite a few months ago. So it just keeps going.

I had an opportunity to nominate persons for the awards at ACCKWA in Kitchener for their Annual General Meeting, I nominated Church Mouse for the Advocacy Award, I felt she deserved it for her blogging since it has become a very big part of the future of advocacy work. She is truely excelling at it and I believe she is a leader. She's contributed more blogs here at ACG than I have, or anyone for that matter. I look forward to each and every one of them. Thank you Church Mouse, thank you.....my friend!

(I did a google search of Church Mouse and she is there, on the first page, its a link to a blog on ACG.)

I would like to dedicate this entry in memory of Marg Starzynski who was also a big inspiration and mentor to me during my time on ACG’s Board of Directors. She encouraged me to move up to the treasurer’s position in my second year. She viewed my photography on my flickr.com page and described my photos as being artistic. Now that I’m about to venture into some sort of a business I will use what she said as a selling feature of my work. Thanks Marg.

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