During a recent interview, Mr. Lewis revealed that his mother, Julie Lewis, has been living with the life threatening disease for over 30 years. “A huge part of what’s made me who I am, is something I haven’t talked about in interviews. In 1984, my mom gave birth to my old sister, Teresa. Due to a complicated delivery, she needed a blood transfusion and at that moment, my mom had HIV + blood put into her body.”
He continued, “When she was finally diagnosed, she was given only a few years to live. By that time, she had already given birth to my sister Laura and me. We each had a 25% chance of being born with HIV+, but we were extremely fortunate. Thanks to advanced medicine and healthcare available here in the U.S., my mom has lived despite her odds.”
“To honor the thirty years my mom has been a survivor, our family is raising funds to build health centers worldwide that will stand strong for at least thirty years. We’re calling it the 30/30 Project. With this amazing year I’ve had, I am honored to be the first donor for the 30/30 Project, jumpstarting the construction of the first health center in Malawi. I am asking you to join my family and see how far we can take this…” he added.
The Seattle-based organization is partnering with Construction for Change to carry out the construction. It also has local partners on the ground, including Partners in Health, to run and operate the health facilities long-term. The $100,000 is to complete the first phase of the project, which will include a center in Nsambe, in the Deno District of Malawi, a place where 1 in 10 people have HIV +. The facility will be run and operated by Partners in Health, Abwenzi Pa Za Umoyo, and Malawi’s Ministry of Health.
If it exceeds the $100,000, the 30/30 project will continue to build more health facilities in various locations in Kenya and Uganda.
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