Podcast #10 – Cor Invictus Community Member Tanner, Prepares For The Ride Of His Life!Dear Friends of Cor Invictus,
My name is Tanner. I grew up the Southern California area in a "functionally dysfunctional" yet very active LDS family. I've been playing piano since I was four years old, self-taught, by ear. In fact, I'm actually an accomplished pianist, song writer, arranger and lyricist.
Ten years ago, I returned honorably from serving that full time mission in the mid-west. I went to college in Southern California and spent a few years trying to learn more about who I really was inside. I attempted to reconcile my sexuality and testimony, date within LDS standards while still discovering who I was.
Back in 2005, I was diagnosed HIV+. When I learned about my diagnosis, I was shocked, scared, nervous, inconsolable and nauseous. My mind was filled with several incorrect and preconceived ideas about the virus.
Since my diagnosis, there have been many emotional, mental and psychological challenges in leading a meaningful HIV+ life. It felt like I had to learn how to walk again by overcoming the social stigma of being HIV+. I only had the support of a few selected friends along with my own faith, to rely on during so many lonely nights of uncertainty and fear. In time, life got better, as it usually does and today, I am happy, fully healthy, funny, stable, balanced and centered with an increasing desire to help others along their way. I no longer live with the ignorant belief that HIV is a sure death sentence. I have a long healthy and abundant life to live!
Through my journey as an HIV+ person, I learned to take control of my life, my health and be my own advocate. Today, I look into the mirror do not see a person stricken with HIV. I see me…Tanner! Not every day is a day of victory and self-confidence. There have been many sorrowful moments and unforeseen obstacles. Yet every day, I find myself one step closer to becoming the man I want to become.
On June 3, 2012 and for a week long, I will be cycling 550 miles with approximately 3,000 people from San Francisco to Los Angeles in the annual AIDS/LifeCycle. It is my first year participating and I am extremely excited! I must raise a minimum of $3,000 to participate in the ride. My personal goal is to raise $5,000. The funds raised from the ride will benefit a local non-profit organization: San Francisco AIDS Foundation and the L.A. Gay & Lesbian Center.
My reasons for riding the ALC are emotional and personal. This ride will be intense and difficult with preparations and training far beyond that which I have ever experienced. I believe in the cause and in myself. I wanted to share my story with you and give you the opportunity to contribute to my fundraising ride. The ALC ride has little to do with me but everything to do with being a part of something bigger than myself.
Your Friend in Denver,
There are a couple ways you can support me.
1.) You can log onto http://www.tofighthiv.org/goto/tanner This is my personal page where I add my blogs about my ALC preparations and experiences. It's awesome!
2.) You can find me on http://www.teamcolorado.net and find my first name on the list.
All your contributions on these sites are tax deductible too, so don't worry.
There is a third and most personal way of contributing to my ALC ride. Aside from raising all this money just to be able to ride, I need to raise money for my own gear otherwise, I will not be able to ride. This is where I am accepting personal contributions (or even borrowed gear that you might have laying around at home). Road bike, odds and ends, jerseys, shorts, shoes, etc. It all adds up very fast.
Give one dollar, give $10, give $100 or more but... just... just give. Please...
If you feel you cannot support me monetarily, be my advocate by telling your friends, coworkers and family members about my endeavor. Some people have chosen to use other popular social online networks to reach their friends. Just pass this along if you want and help me. Maybe you know some other people who are sensitive to HIV/AIDS. This cause is very real, it is represented at home and abroad, not just in Sub-Saharan Africa but literally in our own communities.
My special thanks to Cor Invictus for enabling me to have a voice here by sharing my story. If my story has touched you in any way, please contribute to this cause which I am so passionate about.
Listen to Tanner tell his story in this podcast. Please support and follow his progress in his Cor Invictus blog by clicking here.
Click here to download