Frances’s Story

We’d like to share with you one of our favorite advocacy stories. Frances was a very active member of her congregation since her husband Charles died 6 years ago from AIDS. The grief and shame of his death due to AIDS overwhelmed Frances. She went to church for solace, but was afraid to tell her friends the truth, and was afraid of what they would think about her and Charles. So when her pastor announced the One Conversation Town Hall meeting with Hyacinth, she was hopeful that she could finally get the unconditional support she sought. That evening, Frances shared the truth with other members of the church also struggling with HIV in their families. We got to know Frances at the Town Hall meeting, and later she came to participate in Leadership Hyacinth, our consumer advocacy group. Today, she tells her story directly to legislators in Trenton and Washington. She turned the shame and stigma into a positive force for good and says Hyacinth gave her life new meaning and purpose.