HIV/AIDS - How it killed my family
Bianca O
United States
New Jersey
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Well - There are many topics I love to cover for geek lists - Its my escape from work for a bit every so often!

Then last night my fiance suggested I do one on my Aunt, Uncle and Cousin that I lost to a virus.

That day on - My life, my families life - changed forever...

Here is my story
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1. Board Game: Boy Meets Girl: A Tragedy [Average Rating:5.33 Unranked]
Bianca O
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Mid 70's. My Mum's sister Rebecca goes on a Kibbutz in Israel. Meets David...A Canadian. Ends up getting married a couple years later.
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2. Board Game: Who's on First? [Average Rating:0.00 Unranked]
Bianca O
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New Jersey
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Josh - Rebecca and David had Josh in 1980 in Edmonton, CAN. Their first born. He was a gorgeous healthy baby. He is now a very healthy man
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3. Board Game: Baby Boomer [Average Rating:0.00 Unranked]
Bianca O
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New Jersey
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1980 - My aunt becomes pregnant for the second time.

This time - wasn't going to be so easy. My aunt needed a blood transfusion... She didn't have enough between her and her unborn baby.

I will always remember my mother telling me what my aunt said after the whole ordeal, 'I remember watching them doing the transfusion, thinking they were saving my baby, yet they were taking her away from us'

They didn't screen blood for AIDS in Canada back then apparently...

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4. Board Game: Bonnie Blue [Average Rating:7.20 Unranked]
Bianca O
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New Jersey
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Bonnie - Born May 1st 1981, Edmonton CAN. Beautiful baby, yet not so healthy this time.
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Bianca O
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New Jersey
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Bonnie was never a fully healthy baby. She was always full of life, but always sick....So my aunt took her for testing when Bonnie was 9. I don't know the exact day - but when ever it was, in early 1990...My families life would change forever. And unfortunately, not for the better.
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6. Board Game: Deal or No Deal [Average Rating:3.76 Overall Rank:15169]
Bianca O
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New Jersey
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At this time, Bonnie was at school. A local, normal, everyday school.

Only one thing - Bonnie now had AIDS, and no-one could know.

The prejudice against HIV/AIDS at this time was huge.

Our family nightmare, now had to be a secret.
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7. Board Game: ITV Seven [Average Rating:3.00 Unranked]
Bianca O
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New Jersey
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In the mid 1990's my aunt went on a UK television show 'Thats life!' in disguise to try and fight the AIDS prejudice and ignorance which forced the whole family to live a secret life. She became friendly with the host, Esther Rantzen. Her late husband, Desmond Wilcox was a television producer, host and director. He became friendly with Josh, who was interested in working in television. My aunt said, "I want Desmond to make one of his documentaries about the life we have had to live, so that the world can understand what pain and damage is caused by prejudice."

In 1996 'Rebecca's Secret' was finished. This was a documentary that was made about my families 'secret'. I will never forget that being made. What an emotional time. It was to be aired on 18th September of that year on ITV. It was seen by 9 million viewers.

By the time it was finished, Bonnie and my Aunt had passed away.
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8. Board Game: Duckys [Average Rating:4.67 Unranked]
Bianca O
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New Jersey
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When my aunt was learning about HIV/AIDS, my cousin Bonnie was going back and forth to St Marys Hospital in London. My aunt and the person who ran the floor Bonnie was on started a children's charity. CWAC. Children With Aids Charity. Today - CWAC is growing vastly! I'm so proud of my aunt for doing this - its a big part of what I have left of her. To see how the Charity is growing, and helping millions of HIV/AIDS families all over.
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Bianca O
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New Jersey
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Before we knew it, Bonnie was spending all her time in the hospital. My aunt had then been tested positive...as was my uncle. They had gotten divorced in the late 80's so my uncle was in Canada, and my Aunt and 2 cousins were back home in England. I think I met my uncle maybe a handful of times in my life...

My aunt was also getting pretty sick. But Bonnie was worse at this time.
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10. Board Game: Princess [Average Rating:5.79 Overall Rank:11527]
Bianca O
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New Jersey
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Bonnie had written to Princess Diana. She told her that she was sick, but it was a secret and no one was to know. NO ONE.

A few weeks later, in hospital, Bonnie received a hand written letter and a signed beautiful photograph from the Princess herself. This was it - I remember seeing Bonnie's face. She was more than happy. The Princess went to the trouble of reading Bonnie's letter, letting no one see it - as asked and responding.

Bonnie died December 4th 1993. She was 12. December 5th 1993, we were burying Bon. We got a phone call after - Princess Diana had just gone to the hospital to see Bonnie. She wouldn't have made it to the funeral in time...I still get goosebumps to this day
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Bianca O
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1995 - January 1st. My Aunty Becca died. She got really sick after Bonnie died.

This is a statement Josh said during the documentary, "My sister died of AIDS, my mother died of AIDS and my father has AIDS. We are here to raise money to fight for a world in which other families will not have to live in fear and secrecy as we did."

September 1995 - my uncle passed away in Canada.

Josh is now considered my brother. He moved in with us when my aunt started going to hospital a lot. He is now 27, dating my best friend, and is happily living in England still.
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12. Board Game: Life is Ruff [Average Rating:5.50 Unranked]
Bianca O
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New Jersey
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My life has been interesting. Its not been easy. I was only 9 when Bonnie died. She was my best friend and I have very fond memories of her, my aunt, and unfortunately little of my uncle. They are missed everyday.

I actually played my first boardgames with Josh and Bonnie!

Not a day goes by without thinking of them. CWAC will hopefully go on to help others, as will my families memories...

RIP Bon, Aunty Becca & Uncle David.

www.cwac.org
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