By Richard Brodsky
Imagine having it all: the perfect wife and family, a successful architectural career, and athletic prowess as a marathon runner. Then imagine having to tell your wife that your life is a myth and that you are not only bisexual but HIV-positive, too. That was back in 1997. My wife chose to remain married to me and 15 months later I ran my fastest marathon, 3:23:23. In 2002, I wrote the book, Jodi, the Greatest Love Story Ever Told, a gift to my wife for keeping our family loving and whole, plus a plea to get AIDS medicine to AIDS sufferers all over the world. I had a seizure at my Barnes & Noble book signing in Greenwich Village and was rushed to St. Vincent’s Hospital. A few weeks later I was diagnosed with terminal brain cancer. A year later I finished the New York Marathon.
In 2004 I established the Richard M. Brodsky Foundation, which sponsored its 14th annual World AIDS Marathon on Dec. 1, 2019 in Kisumu, Kenya. In conjunction with the marathon, the foundation has sponsored 37 orphan dinner dances for 10,514 Kenyan orphans, and provided medical care, oftentimes lifesaving, for 2,511 orphans and caretakers.
The foundation will be sponsoring its 13th annual 5K AIDS Cancer Run Walk on October 4, 2020 in Baldwin Park, Long Island. There is never a charge for people living with HIV or cancer. Running has saved my life and I want others living with HIV or cancer to get a similar benefit.
According to the Internet there are no other runners in the world who run marathons and are living with HIV and brain cancer. Having a marathon-running, loving wife who ran seven marathons in 2019 helps a lot. I’m 67 and just ran my 67th marathon in Kisumu, Kenya. I ran five marathons last year to raise awareness about HIV+ people leading productive lives. Since the Foundation’s inception, more than $500,000 worth of cash, toys, clothing, meals, medicine, homes for orphans and concerts has been donated,. For more information, visit www.richardmbrodsky.org, www.5kaidscancer.org, or www.worldaidsmarathon.com, or write me at email@example.com. To register for the 5K race click on the link above. There will be a link to register for the World AIDS Marathon in August.
My wife and I never say IF WE CAN; it is always WE CAN. In fact, she agreed to run a marathon with me for my 100th birthday. I really believe if you want something badly enough and you work hard and visualize it happening, it will happen. Jodi and I will do everything we can to help eliminate the stigma of AIDS. Some people think that if you are HIV+ you cannot be a productive member of society. Recently, the president of the Greater Long Island Running Club wrote, “there is no harder working team of race directors on Long Island than Richard & Jodi Brodsky.” Donations are greatly appreciated and can be made online via any website noted above.
Richard Brodsky, with the assistance of his wife Jodi Brodsky, is the only HIV/AIDS and cancer survivor who runs and organizes international marathons.