Senator Orrin Hatch (Utah)
I had the pleasure of first meeting Elizabeth as the Foundation was just taking form in 1989. She was the first person to shine a bright light on children living with AIDS—an issue that, until Elizabeth, was only considered a disease that impacted adults. She was searching for creative ways to get AIDS drugs to children, and reduce the five to six year lag time plaguing pediatric HIV/AIDS federal research. Her story was so personal, and her appeal so passionate, that she could not be ignored. Elizabeth reshaped the HIV/AIDS discussion in Washington, uniting both sides of the aisle to take action in ways that are rarely seen in policymaking.
Her courage and dedication were unmatchable, and catapulted the organization toward remarkable achievements. Elizabeth never thought small - and knowing Elizabeth as I did, she would not have stopped at children within the United States. She would be so proud and impressed at the way the Foundation is reaching children and their families around the globe.
I know she would also be thrilled around the renewed energy in finding a cure for HIV, and the Foundation’s work to put children at the center of that discussion. Thirty plus years into the epidemic there has been incredible progress in the fight against the disease, much of it built upon the legacy of advocates like Elizabeth, and we must continue to remain strong and carry out that legacy as we work toward an-AIDS free generation.