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College Grad Skipping Graduation for NYC AIDS Walk

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We stumbled across Christian Oliveira’s story this morning. Homeboy is skipping out on his graduation from Rutgers University (so is my sister, Christina!) this year in order to participate in the New York City AIDS Walk on behalf of his HIV-positive pal, Jay. I can hardly do his story justice on my own, so here it is straight Christian:

Dear Friend,

CAN YOU BELIEVE my college graduation ceremony and AIDS Walk 2011 are on the same day at the same time?! I can hardly tell you how upset I was when I found this out.

Last year, I took part in AIDS Walk New York for the first time in my life, and it was a really heart-warming experience. I walked on behalf of my friend Jay who is HIV positive, and all the money I raised went to support numerous charities committed to fighting AIDS and keeping my pal Jay healthy (he actually celebrated his 38th birthday on the same exact day I walked last year)! I had such a great time, and I was really looking forward to walking again this year…

On the other hand, after being in college all these years, toiling away on countless political science papers, destroying my digestive system with an overabundance of Easy Mac, and enduring numerous sleepless nights, I’m yearning to finally walk up there and get my diploma from the dean.

This probably seems like it would be an easy choice for most folks, but I was honestly torn between the two until…

 

HOW PERFECT! It’s the best of both worlds! Who wants to sit in the hot summer sun for three (probably more) hours while the names of a few thousand students are read incorrectly, anyway? Education professionals have been making a career out of mispronouncing my first and last name for over fifteen years (has no one read The Bible?), but the joke’s on them this time: I WON’T BE THERE!

Instead, this May 15th, I’ll be walking the pavement in Central Park to fight AIDS while wearing my Rutgers University scarlet cap and gown!

Last year, I raised nearly $1,000 on behalf of my dear friend Jay, and this year, I have set a new personal goal of $2,500. With less than two months to go, I’m ready to make it happen, but I need your help!

Will you help me reach my goal and donate $35 right now?

All of the money raised from AIDS Walk goes to support wonderful charities such as the Gay Men’s Health Crisis. GMHC has been fighting relentlessly since 1981 to stop the spread of AIDS and to improve the lives of those affected. The fact that my friend Jay will be celebrating his 39th birthday this year is a real testament to the fantastic work of organizations such as the GMHC and AIDS Walk.

Please give generously! Thank you from the bottom of my heart.

Christian Oliveira

Dude, how amazing is this guy? To make a donation to Christian’s AIDS Walk campaign, PLEASE CLICK HERE.

Let’s hear it for the boy!