He was denied previously due to the fact that many were uninformed of the ways AIDS could be spread. While Ryan contracted the disease through a contaminated blood treatment for his hemophilia, many believed it to be contracted only through the bodily fluids of gay men, the most commonly known AIDS contractors. After many legal battles with the school system and national media coverage, he was allowed admittance to the school. He later died five months before his graduation. Even though it was a short life, it was an important one.
His life and disease created awareness for all of America that would change the way we look at people diagnosed with AIDS. Through his story the US government was able to create the Ryan White Act, which is currently the largest provider of relief for AIDS patients. If I could have a conversation with anyone I would choose Ryan because of the way he influenced so many others. I would simply ask him how it feels to be able to look down from heaven and see how he has changed the world and the lives of AIDS patients.
If it was not for him people would still look upon those with AIDS in a way comparable to lepers. He opened the eyes of many and allowed those with AIDS to live the most normal life possible for the remainder of their time on Earth. Ryan was a part of a special group of people such as: Magic Johnson, Elton John, and Michael Jackson who worked towards AIDS relief. They did not only act as mentors, they also showered him with praise and gifts including down payments on his family’s house, a red mustang, and perks such as meeting Alyssa Milan.
He often stated he was not in favor of being in the national spotlight and would have traded all the gifts for being healthy. I see this as a cry out to be a normal teenager, something I take for granted on a daily basis. If I could speak to Ryan would take advantage of it and use it as a way to open my eyes and the eyes of other teenagers who are blessed with good health. Myself and many of my peers have more than we could ever want, while Ryan wasn’t even able to finish high school. See Ryan White as an extremely strong individual for the ay he responded to the hatred and rejection as he overcame his own obstacles.
My Other main question would be how he responded to his disease. If I was in his position, I would often ask God, ‘Why Mere. It takes a special person to remain strong in faith in the face of adversity of this amplitude. I wonder what he thought of God and God’s plan for him, or if he even believed in him after his troubles on Earth. I hope he stayed strong and used the support from his mother, family, and others to stay positive so that he would be able to see his influence working on others even after his death.
Ryan White was one of the most influential people of this era, and that is why would choose him as my person to have a conversation with. He created a new face for AIDS, informed many, and even kick started the largest fund for AIDS patients after his death. I would utilize my time with him to try to better understand his hardships and how he handled the harsh treatment from others. This would open my eyes and others of how blessed we are, and that we should take every day as a gift from God. A thirty minute conversation with Ryan would be exciting and fulfilling.