This is one of those nights when I just leave the TV on until I fell asleep.
But while I constantly changing channels, some ad on MTV caught my attention.
And so I Googled.
Timothy Ray Brown is the first person ever cured of HIV.
Diagnosed with the disease in 1995, Brown had to start using antiretroviral drugs to stave off HIV for more than a decade, but then he received another staggering diagnosis: acute myeloid leukemia.
Brown at his home photographed by Dan Winters.
Brown’s doctors decided to use radiation and chemotherapy to wipe out his immune system, then rebuild it with donated stem cells. But they added a game-changing twist to this standard treatment: They deliberately picked a donor who was immune to HIV.
About 1 percent of Caucasians carry a gene mutation that triggers this immunity. In scientific terms, this means their cells don’t have CCR5—a protein that opens the door for HIV to enter blood cells. For Brown, it meant a new chance at life.
Brown received two stem cell transplants that knocked out his cancer and transferred the genetic variation to his immune system.
I Hugged The Berlin Patient is a documentary film about a young spirited cancer survivor from Singapore, Edgar Tang, who spontaneously took a quest to find the first man in the world who's actually cured of HIV—Timothy Ray Brown.
As details emerge about Timothy’s ordeal, beginning with his first risky bone-marrow transplant in 2007, Edgar finds lyrical parallels to his own recovery from Stage III Hodgkins’ Lymphoma that same year.
Armed with only his instinct and quirky personality, Edgar fleshes out an illogical plan to travel farther, just to hug the man.
While the film culminates on a powerful meeting between the two survivors, it brings hope and light to a reality where stigma exists to most people and those who are living with HIV.
Now watch the trailer, that gave me goosebumps!
To commemorate the World AIDS Day (December 1), the documentary film will premiere at The Grand Cathay, Singapore on December 2 where net proceeds will be donated to Action for AIDS.
Tickets are priced at standard viewing for $30 and VIP for $100,
available HERE or visit berlinpatientfilm.com.
Unfortunately there is no schedule, nor will there ever be a premiere of the film in the Philippines.
Sad, I know.
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