Mitchell (left), Alee (center), and Yonas Meredith speak at the Foundation's A Time for Heroes Celebrity Carnival. (Photo: EGPAF)
Clay Meredith has been a member of the EGPAF family from the time he contacted EGPAF for information about HIV. He actively reaches out to the community and raises HIV/AIDS awareness through speaking engagements and by attending EGPAF events.
I was at work when I got the call from my wife. When I heard her voice shake, I knew my worst fear had come true: My wife Suzan, daughter Alee, and son Mitchell were all HIV-positive.
Suzan is the kind of person who faces adversity head on. She likes to research everything. When she learned that she was HIV-positive, she went to the library. The first book she saw, right at eye level, was In the Absence of Angels, by Elizabeth Glaser.
After reading the book, everything changed for my family. Suddenly we knew there was an organization that could help. An organization funding research dedicated to children with HIV. They were there to support us and educate us and fight for us. And it gave us the courage to fight as well.
Today, despite everything we’ve been through, I consider my family to be extremely lucky. I never contracted HIV. Suzan is healthy and I can barely keep up with Alee and Mitchell.
Also, in 2006, we adopted Yonas, a little boy from Ethiopia who is also HIV-positive and healthier than ever.
Left to right: Alee, Clay, Yonas, Susan, and Mitchell Meredith (Photo: EGPAF)
Today, my mission is to take care of my family and raise AIDS awareness. I know that I have much to learn, but there’s still a lot that I can do to help others. There’s a lot we all can do. The difference between where I was a decade ago and where I am now is like night and day. I’m not scared of HIV anymore. Thanks to the Foundation, I have hope for the future.
Blog posts featuring the Meredith family: