Jul 22 2011

Abandoned at Birth Now an AIDS Activist: Hydeia Broadbent’s Life a Testament to Early Diagnosis and Treatment

Born HIV-infected to a crack-addicted mother and diagnosed with full blown AIDS at age 3, Hydeia Broadbent was not expected to live past the age of 5. More than 20 years after receiving that death sentence, this beautiful young woman blogs, tweets and travels the country to educate people about the importance of AIDS prevention, testing, early diagnosis and treatment.

“Early diagnosis can be the difference between life and death,” says Broadbent. “Too many people become aware of their status when it is too late for life-saving medications to be effective — I am in this fight because I truly do not want others to go through what I have gone through — but also keep in mind, a positive test result doesn’t have to mean a death sentence.”

Some uninformed people hear stories like Broadbent’s and believe that because HIV-positive people are now living much longer, prevention is not a big deal anymore. Broadbent warns audiences not to fall into that trap. This young lady knows firsthand that living with AIDS is no walk in the park. The drugs have serious side effects, are very costly and they must be taken every day. If you are following Broadbent on Facebook or Twitter, you know her emergency room visits are frightening and expensive.

“People think because I was born with HIV my story does not apply to them,” warns Broadbent. “Well, this same disease I am living with is the same disease you can get if you don’t practice safe sex and know your HIV status and the HIV status of your sexual partner. I ask people to use my testimony as a warning of what you don’t want to go through.”

If you have been thinking about getting tested, but still haven’t found the courage or will to get it done, let this young woman’s concern for you give you the nudge you need to be concerned about yourself.

“We are responsible for the choices we make and I challenge everyone to be accountable. Every 9 ½ minutes someone becomes infected with HIV. Knowing your HIV status is not only a representation of self-love but also states what kind of person you choose to be. Not knowing your HIV status and having unsafe sexual relationships means you could possibly be infecting others,” Broadbent says.

Visit www.HydeaiaBroadbent.com for more information on this awesome young lady.

Dec 13 2010

Nicole Richie Designs a New Life

I don’t know about you, but I’m a sucker for any story that at it’s heart is about transformation. I think that’s why I love HGTV so much–you know–the creativity and elbow grease and coordinating fabrics of it all.

Watching those funky old fixer-uppers being transformed into stunning new homes just gets me giddy. It’s like a metaphor of sorts for how hopeful we can all be about the caterpillar-to-butterfly potential we humans possess.

So, it’s no wonder Nicole Richie’s very public journey from awkward/wayward teenager to mommy/mogul/author/wife is my kind of true-life fairy tale.

In a town like Hollywood, where so many of the young up-and-coming are sidelined by alcohol and drugs, it was no real shock to anyone when Lionel Richie’s adopted daughter Nicole began her early slide into getwastedness (along with her then best friend Paris Hilton). At age 22 Nicole was arrested for DUI and charged with possession of heroin. By the time she was 25, she had racked up another DUI charge and was sentenced to jail time. She lost so much weight we all diagnosed her with an eating disorder (which she says was never true), and then, to make matters worse she (gasp) went and got herself knocked up by a rock star. Well, damn. Go ahead and throw in the towel on that little privileged chick, right? Not so fast…

Don’t tell Sarah and Bristol Palin I said so, but the best thing that ever happened to Nicole Ritchie was unprotected sex with Good Charlotte  front man Joel Madden. Not that I’m advocating that for the average spoiled, out of control, rich reality television personality. Heavens NO. But I do think that becoming pregnant and being in a loving relationship with a man like Joel turned out to be a perfect storm that blew Nicole out of the fast lane and onto a path towards real maturity.

Nicole sat down with Robin Roberts in September to talk about her new, extremely busy life as the mother of two children, owner of four successful businesses, and author of two novels.

On Saturday, December 11th, Nicole and Joel stood before Reverend Run at her father’s Beverly Hills estate and became husband and wife.

Congratulations to you and your family, Nicole. Your metamorphosis is nothing short of awesome, and I hope you never stop reaching for the sky.

Little known facts about Nicole:

  • She was born Nicole Camille Escovedo
  • She was blessed with two super-talented godfathers: Michael Jackson and Quincy Jones.
  • Her clothing lines are named “House of Harlow” and “Winter Kate” after her daughter Harlow Winter Kate Madden.
  • In February 2010 her Richie-Madden Children’s Foundation funded the development of a playground in Los Angeles to encourage children to get outside and play
  • She plays cello, piano, and violin.
  • She stands to inherit 200+ million from her father’s estate.