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Whitney Williams
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Advocate
    (January 1982-May 13, 1997)
    Born in Illinois
    Resided in Chicago, Illinois
    Was diagnosed with AIDS
    Publicly discussed the situation regarding her disease (1993)
    Advocated for and inspired youth HIV/AIDS awareness
    Doctors could not determine how she contracted HIV because her parents did not have HIV, she did not receive any blood transfusions, did not use intravenous drugs and she had not been sexually abused.
    Her situation's defiance of HIV/AIDS misconceptions and stereotypes caused public concern.
    Despite the publicity and educational awards received, an HIV/AIDS awareness organization Whitney inspired almost closed due to funding issues.
    She died four days before the fourth anniversary of her visit to the town which helped found the organization she inspired.
    Just before blowing out the cake's candles on her eleventh birthday, she asked God to find a cure for AIDS.
    A People magazine article about Whitney inspired Pecos, New Mexico teacher Maria Mathes to recommend Whitney to students as a recepient in their class goodwill letter writing project.
    Through community fund raising efforts she visited Pecos, during which she received a key to the village from the mayor, who proclaimed the day of her visit 'Whitney Williams Day' (May 17, 1993).
    Her friendship with the students inspired the Whitney Project foundation, which focused on HIV/AIDS education and support for children with the disease.
    She stated that she had no fear of death and suggested that such a fear was senseless to her.
    Regarding her activism and life with AIDS, she stated 'What I want kids to learn is that you can't get AIDS by being someone's friend.'

Credit: Pr31wnb


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