Ryan Lewis writes:
A huge part of what’s made me who I am, is something I haven’t talked about in interviews. If I could just take a few moments of your time, I’d love to tell you about the strongest woman that I know, my mom, Julie Lewis. In 1984, my mom gave birth to my older 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. 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 HIV+, but we were extremely fortunate (today, the risk of a mother passing HIV to her baby is 2% or less if she is taking medication).
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. We are partnering with Construction for Change, a Seattle-based nonprofit, to carry out construction. And we have local partners on the ground, such as Partners in Health, to run and operate the health facilities long-term. We want to give hope to women and families in other parts of the world who lack access to quality, affordable healthcare.