Dancer Diaries: “Blood Brother” Stands UP 4 THE FIGHT

By Sydney Van Horn | January 13, 2014

More than 100 students at Baldwin-Wallace University gathered on campus to stand UP 4 THE FIGHT and watch the film Blood Brother.

Sydney Van Horn

As the Elizabeth Glaser Pediatric AIDS Foundation’s (EGPAF) Development Coordinator, Sydney Van Horn supports college students across the nation as they host the best dance party of their lives! EGPAF’s UP 4 THE FIGHT Dance Marathons raise awareness and money to help continue the fight to eliminate pediatric HIV/AIDS. Stay tuned for more of Sydney’s Dancer Diaries!

After this fall’s successful sneak preview of the documentary, “Blood Brother,” the Elizabeth Glaser Pediatric AIDS Foundation (EGPAF) will bring this moving film to UP 4 THE FIGHT campuses nationwide!

EGPAF has partnered with the film’s distributer, Tugg Inc., and Mylan Laboratories, a producer of antiretroviral therapy (ART) medications, to offer students a chance to screen the film and hold meaningful conversations about pediatric HIV treatment and prevention.

The acclaimed documentary won the prestigious “Grand Jury Award” and the “Audience Award” at the 2013 Sundance Film Festival.

In December, two campus partners had the opportunity to host a screening: Baldwin-Wallace Dance Marathon at Baldwin-Wallace University, Ohio and Berkeley Dance Marathon at UC Berkeley, California.

Student leaders on both campuses rallied together students and staff members to view the story of Rocky Braat, a young man from Pittsburgh, Pa. who moves to India to work in an orphanage for HIV-positive children.  Through the eyes of Steve Hoover, Rocky’s best friend and the film’s director, the audience understands just how much of a difference one person’s love and compassion can make, especially in affecting the lives and well-being of children living with HIV.

At Baldwin-Wallace University, UP 4 THE FIGHT leaders followed the film with a discussion panel, featuring EGPAF staff as well as individuals and organizations that are working with HIV/AIDS in the Cleveland, Ohio area. The panel deliberated issues still at hand in the fight in the AIDS epidemic, both domestically and internationally.

“We were very happy with the reaction from those who came [to the screening],” said Heather Schier, educational programming director for Baldwin-Wallace Dance Marathon.

“I’ve had a few people reach out to me already thanking me and saying it made a huge impact [on their involvement with Dance Marathon]!”

Thanks to the incredible support from Mylan Labratories, the “Blood Brother” film continues to give Dance Marathon participants a visual, personal example of the work that is being done in the fight against pediatric HIV/AIDS, demonstrating how their involvement with EGPAF will help mothers and children worldwide receive the care and treatment they deserve.

To get involved in EGPAF’s UP 4 THE FIGHT program, please email up4thefight@pedaids.org.

Sydney Van Horn is a Development Coordinator at EGPAF, based in Washington, D.C.