Dear Friends and Family,

I have committed myself to a challenge: this coming June, I plan to ride in the California AIDS Ride. The ride takes 6 days, begins in San Francisco and ends in Los Angeles (around 580 miles). The athletic challenge of the task is in itself inspiring, but the real motivation for this effort is its cause. As you may know, though there have been recent advances in the treatment of HIV, AIDS still afflicts more than 200,000 Americans, and more than 33.4 million cases exist worldwide. Worse yet, the aggressive drug therapies are revealing their limitations against this highly adaptive virus. AIDS is a cause that needs ongoing attention and support.

For me the cause is also personal. A close friend, one of the most wonderful individuals I have ever known, has AIDS. John hired me into HP more than 12 years ago. We were instant friends and shared a house in Palo Alto for several years. He remains one of my most treasured and admired friends. John was diagnosed with AIDS more than 4 years ago, well before the recent treatment improvements. Since then, he has been a model case of the power of courage and hope in the face of disease. He participates in experimental treatment programs and has received excellent support from his employer. In these ways, John is fortunate. But this virus is tenacious: once established in the body, it adapts to even the most aggressive of treatments. It is a testament to his amazing spirit that John thrives.

My efforts this summer, and the associated training before the ride, are for all those who have or will contract AIDS, but especially for John. I feel privileged to know him, so it's the least I can do.

Funds raised in the California AIDS Ride will benefit local care-giving organizations as well as research. I have committed to raising a minimum of $2500 and, you guessed it, I am asking for your support. I will be donating at least $500 of my own money which should more than cover the cost of the ride itself, so all of your money goes directly to the cause. However small your donation, know that it is money well spent: the organization it goes to is effective and efficient and, moreover, the need is powerful. Of course, I encourage you to give as much as you can. This ride will be rewarding for me no matter how much I raise, but I would love to know that I am representing your support as well.

Thank you, John, for your friendship and for permitting me to tell your story.

Thank you friends and family for your caring and support,

- Kristin

Click here to sponsor my ride!

If you have any questions or comments, please e-mail me at

For more information on the AIDS ride, go to the AIDS Ride Home Page.