A letter to me from Michael Hicks

Pardon me while I vent about the State hierarchy….

Regardless of opinions on the death penalty in Huntsville (no explanation needed), now
the legislature wants to give an economic death sentence to thousands of HIV carriers by
denying them the medications that keep them alive. They’ve not committed any crime,
they’ve been taxpayers and Texas citizens, yet they’ve been denied the help by many who
they elected. They have been told that their own lives have become too much of a financial
burden, yet the state freely funds much larger frivolous programs and projects, while also
lining the pockets of lobbyists and themselves.

I’m not an HIV victim, but a stroke survivor in a wheelchair (we met a few years back at
Poor David’s Pub. I was there as a guest of Holly Barry). I nearly died at 38 and survived
on the floor for 2 1/2 days until I was found. So many have been supportive and I scrape
by on disability and live alone, by choice. I tend to be thankful for what I do have instead
of focusing on what I don’t. Most importantly, I’m allowed to live. By comparison, the thought
of these HIV victims who will be forced to count away their days until they wither away makes
me physically ill. To deny them the very thing which keeps them alive is creating another
Holocaust, right here among us.

No one would willingly allow their own parent, spouse, or child to die due to something that
could be treated or cured. Yet these officials are deciding that these lives are expendable.
They don’t want to pay for something that would be like the oxygen we all breathe every day.
And these souls are someone’s parent, spouse or child. Just reading this newspaper article
I sent to you was enough to bring out tears of pain, strength of compassion, and the knowledge
that we have to keep marching on for what is right. Right or wrong isn’t always clearly labeled,
as so many voters blindly seem to believe, but it’s about making choices that can benefit us all,
not just a few who seem to feel “privileged”.

I’m not an activist, just another human surviving life, and appreciating my second chance
to do so. I used to be an entertainer and the smiles I brought were my greatest reward,
as well as my greatest gift I could share. Now I enjoy writing on occasion, as it allows me
to share the smiles, but also every other emotion that we all can feel. I may only have one
usable arm and leg, but my heart grows stronger with each day. Living by example is a gift
that so many simply forget that they have, yet for me it’s a simple mission to give the world
hope and faith — by showing that it comes from within.

Thanks for allowing me to vent and ramble.

Budget cuts imperil Texas HIV drug program | News for Dallas, Texas | Dallas Morning News | Late
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