Ryan Lewis says his mother has lived with HIV for over 30 years “despite her odds”.
The 26-year-old musician, who is the producer in Grammy-winning hip hop duo Macklemore & Ryan Lewis, launched an Indiegogo campaign Tuesday in aid of those suffering with the disease.
And on the internet fundraising page, Ryan revealed to millions of fans he has seen how HIV impacts lives firsthand.
“If I could just take a few moments of your time, I'd love to tell you about the strongest woman that I know, my mom, Julie Lewis. In 1984, my mom gave birth to my older sister, Teresa. Due to a complicated delivery, she needed a blood transfusion and at that moment, my mom had HIV+ blood put into her body,” he wrote beneath a headline that read, A Message From Ryan Lewis.
“When she was finally diagnosed, she was given only a few years to live. By that time, she had already given birth to my sister Laura and me. We each had a 25% chance of being born HIV+, but we were extremely fortunate (today, the risk of a mother passing HIV to her baby is 2% or less if she is taking medication).”
Ryan and his family are elated his mother is still around today, and in celebration of her vitality, the star decided to give back to communities who aren’t so well-off.
“To honor the thirty years my mom has been a survivor, our family is raising funds to build health centers worldwide that will stand strong for at least thirty years (sic),” the campaign message continued. “We're calling it the 30/30 Project.”
Ryan will join forces with Partners in Health and Seattle based non-profit Construction for Change to build facilities in Malawi initially, before spreading to other parts of the world.