Ryan Lewis, beatsmith and Macklemore's production half, shared his mother's story of strength on World AIDS Day (December 1).
The music vet has been a public advocate for the fight against HIV, teaming up with his mother, Julie, back in April to launch the 30/30 Project. The campaign commemorated her 30-year victory over HIV as well as the 30th anniversary of the discovery that HIV leads to AIDS, with a goal to create a network of HIV/AIDS treatment centers that will be around for at least 30 years.
"When my mom was diagnosed with HIV, doctors only gave her a few years to live," Lewis wrote on Instagram. "I was 6 years old. 30 years later she is still alive. She’s alive because she’s strong and has always been a fighter. And she's alive because she had access to medicine and care that can manage her disease. She's been lucky."
"Today, on World AIDS Day, we remember the 39 million people who have died from AIDS since the disease was first recognized in the early 1980s. And for the 35 million people still living with HIV or AIDS, we continue to work for better access to the medicine and treatment that too many go without. If we can help people across the world get the kind of medicine and care that my mom has received, we can change lives.
"That's why we started the 30/30 Project," he continued." Based on the principle that health care is a human right, our goal is to build 30 health centers worldwide that will last at least 30 years. Working with Construction for Change, and partnering with international organizations like Partners in Health, we are building facilities to deliver critical medical care where it’s needed most.
"Our first year has been amazing and you've been a big part of it. Since launching the Project in April, we have raised enough money to build five clinics and have had the opportunity to share our story with people all over the world. In two weeks, we'll finish our first project in Neno, Malawi -- a clinic that will serve a community where 1 in 10 people is living with HIV. Your support has made it possible. Thank you. We look forward to an even better year in 2015."