It's been a couple years since I went to the POZ seminar and now I am ready to come back and volunteer. I had been recently diagnosed with HIV but so sick I was almost at full blown AIDS. The seminar gave me so much support and info that I regained some confidence and took back my health both physically and emotionally by finding a doctor I had better communication with, understanding what my lab results meant and how the medication worked. I was able to forgive myself and others, and in general, just be a more open and loving person. I still have not disclosed my status to all my family, but I know I will soon and I know that Life Group will be there for my family if they want to attend a weekend to learn more. Thank you for giving me back what I thought I'd never have again. Life.
Since attending this weekend workshop there is rarely a day I don't reflect on my experience. I have made friends that do not judge me, I have learned how best to take care of myself and how to help my doctors and nurses make sure I am getting the best care for my situation. For the first time, during the weekend I was given the opportunity to do a 12 step meeting. This was something I know I should have looked into sooner but this safe space allowed me to feel comfortable going in with other participants I had met during the weekend. I left with the knowledge of what the program was about and now have friends I can connect with and go to meetings with outside this group. There isn't a soul alive that is HIV+ or a caregiver who should not go to this seminar. If not for themselves, to be of service to other brothers and sisters going through rougher times. Here's a video that describes what they do.
Last month i went to this retreat for the first time, referred by my therapist I was scared to go, but was greeted warmly when I arrived and my nerves were settled. I met some new friends and people who I can reach out to when I have questions about anything. They saw me at my most raw and still accepted me and supported me. I learned I am not damaged goods and that I have a lot to offer others. I appreciate that after the seminar the volunteers called me to see if I was okay and if I needed anything. I needed help with my utility bills and food they gave me some places to call. A week later they called me back to see if I was able to get what I needed and I had. This is a caring group and I appreciate all they do for us.
I'll never forget my experience that I had at a POZ weekend. I have to agree 100% with the writer of this article. ( http://www.aumag.org/2016/04/21/sunnie-rose-berger-advocate/ ) The warmth and beautiful energy of the room and everyone in it was a feeling I've never felt before. You're such a wonderful person Sunnie Rose Berger and you have touched many souls with your love and generosity. Angel's like you are hard to come by. You rock!!
This workshop really transformed my life. I am newly diagnosed and felt isolated and despair before this weekend. Now I feel hope and know that joy is possible. I feel love in my heart instead of loneliness. Thank you.
There is no agency that does or can do what this agency can do. They changed me and I was then able to transform my life. Group has more compassion than the people who volunteer for life group.
This place really helped me get my life together when I needed it the most. Life wouldn't be the same without them.
After suffering in silence and shame for over 25 years from living with HIV. Someone suggested i attend a weekend seminar. That seminar transformed me and allowed me to start the life I now have. I was able to, for the first time, talk about being diagnosed in the Navy and the way I was treated. The shame and isolation I experienced both emotionally and physically was paralyzing. At that weekend the volunteers provided a safe, loving, supportive environment. The facilitators were amazing and also allowed me the space and time to begin healing that shame. From the first phone call with Sunnie Rose the experience was incredibly loving.
I have worked with other agencies and recieved services, but none provide the service, or the support that Life Group does as well. The reason is that for the first time I was in a room with those affected by the disease and got to hear how my disease affected them. I was so isolated and had no idea that my family was as well. This experience coupled with the compassion with which they approach and provide services was the key to my returning to life.
I went to school and recieved my Masters Degree and I am currently applying to Ph.D. programs. This experience informs all that I do, and have done.
There is no other agency that provides this service, this support, and this compassion. They do not duplicate services of any kind, there is no where else to get what they provide except from them. Their work needs to be available to more, and accessible by many.
Life's are not just changed, but saved by this program.