In the smash Broadway hit musical “Rent,” as the actors struggle with a script detailing homelessness, poverty and disease, they sing a moving song.
“No day but today, forget regret or life is yours to miss,” is one of the more memorable lines from the Jonathan Larson’s musical.
For those who have been living with HIV/AIDS for decades, the song rings true. Survivors of a disease, that has claimed the lives of more than 39 million people globally since the first cases were reported in 1981, are often grateful for every new day. The World Health Organization states HIV, the virus that causes AIDS, is the world’s leading infectious killer.
Those who have lost friends, family and loved ones to AIDS are gathering Sunday in Miami Beach for the 27th Annual AIDS Walk Miami. This year’s theme is “One Step Closer to a Cure” and it steps off promptly at 9 a.m. at the Miami Beach Convention Center.
“We walk together in unity,” said David Bromstad, grand marshal of the 2015 walk.
In a press release issued by the walk’s presenting sponsor, Care Resource, Bromstad, a celebrated television personality known for his colorful design shows, struck a key balance in the walk’s purpose.
“When we walk we walk for those who have died, for those who are suffering, for those who have lost loved ones,” Bromstad said. “But we walk for a promising tomorrow, when a cure wil finally put an end to HIV and AIDS. Let each step bring us closer to that day!”
Robbin Simmons, an Emmy Award winning news reporter, joins Bromstad out front as the walk’s “master of ceremonies.” Simmons, co-anchor of weekend editions of 7 News, stated the importance of testing.
“Early detection and treatment can prolong lives for many,” Simmons said. “We can truly change the course of this epidemic when we're all in it together. Let's make the 2015 AIDS Walk Miami the biggest, best and most profitable!”
In a February 2014 surveillance report released by the Florida Department of Health, an estimated 27,035 people were living with HIV/AIDS in Miami-Dade County.
The walk of 3.1 miles begins promptly at 9 a.m. at 1901 Convention Center Drive in MiamiBeach. To register, visit www.AIDSwalkmiami.org . Single registration is $25. Organizers are hoping to raise $250,000 at this year’s walk.
“As Former Vice Mayor of Miami Beach it was always my pleasure to welcome the many volunteers and participants to the AIDS Walk every year. I have lost many friends over the years to this horrible disease,” said Michael C. Gongora, former Vice Mayor of Miami Beach. “Now we have more hope than ever for a cure as researchers have announced major steps forward in the battle against AIDS and the HIV virus. While we wait for a cure there are still millions impacted by AIDS and HIV. It is my great hope that this global pandemic, which has killed so many be eradicated in the near future. I urge you to join me at the AIDS Walk and in pledging your support.”