Miami is Start of 5200
Mile Walk Across America for Kids with AIDS
On September 16th, fueled by an "intense desire to want to make a
difference", Louie Rochon, a 43 year old Arizona man, will take the
first of ten million steps on a 5200 mile Walk Across America. Rochon
hopes to raise awareness of a critical problem facing America and all
nations around the world, which is an alarming increase in the number
of children that are now or will be orphaned by the AIDS epidemic.
These children have been named "AIDS Orphans" by the media and
their numbers are increasing dramatically. According to an article
in the Journal of the American Medical Association*, it is estimated
that by the end of 1996, there will be 46,500 children and adolescents
that will be orphaned in the United States alone and that number
is expected to increase to 82,000 by the year 2000.
The Children With AIDS Project of America, based in Phoenix,
Arizona, locates HIV infants and children, AIDS orphans and drug
addicted infants as well as recruiting families to adopt these kids,
referring them to private homes, adoption exchanges, public and
government adoption agencies throughout the U.S. In addition,
they maintain an Internet Web Site (http://www.aidskids.org)
that links with other adoption resources, as well as providing
AIDS education and information.
Rochon, through individual contributions, hopes to raise 10 million
dollars for the Children With AIDS Project of America. During the
course of the walk, which is estimated to take approximately 18
months, Rochon intends to speak with local schools and
organizations, by request. To obtain a 'pledge per mile' form, or
inquire about local fundraising events or speaking
WALK ACROSS AMERICA,
7731 E Holmes, Mesa, AZ 85208 (602) 380-8963. For information
on THE CHILDREN WITH AIDS PROJECT OF AMERICA,
visit their web site (HTTP://WWW.AIDSKIDS.ORG).
Questioned as to the enormity of the project, Rochon adds
"Compared to what these kids are put through, my part in this
is like a walk in the park. They need our help, and one step at a
time, we will help them. Besides, I firmly believe in miracles."