that can be change. Perhaps her compassion of the human
condition is on reason she and her family could battle the
ignorance and prejudice of public opinion without
becoming bitter or vicious. When someone expressed to Jeanne
their hatred and anger toward the anonymous donor who
provided the contaminated blood that infected Ryan, she said,
"Then you might as well hate me. I am the one who pumped it
into his arm. And I'm the one who gave him hemophilia."

My point here is that when Jeanne White was told that her son
had AIDS, she had already experienced and survived more than
most parents endure in a lifetime. Grief, guilt, dilemma,
and impossible responsibility were already old friends. So
if most parents could not understand how Jeanne could be so
cool and strong, how she could appear so accepting, it is
because the did not understand the fires that had tempered
her strength, not because she was, in fact, unfeeling.

Ryan White became a public figure. He wanted to go to
school and have as normal a life as possible. To do so he
had to fight fear and stigma in the courts and on the
streets. To fight that battle, he had to sacrifice his
privacy. From all accounts I have read, at every stage of
advancing the social battle, Ryan was ultimately the

Page Notes

Nobody has written a note for this page yet

Please sign in to write a note for this page