World AIDS Day 2008- A Retrospective
By Michael Danyluk
I first began to work with people with HIV/AIDS as part of my graduate studies in
the mid nineteen eighties. Although much has changed since that time, I use the
occasion of World AIDS Day not only to consider what still needs to be done but
also to reflect on those earlier times.
As I recall, the AIDS crisis came as a horrible shock in the wake of the sexual
revolution and the gay liberation movement of the late sixties and seventies. At
the time I had begun my work, the disease was primarily confined to gay men
whose life expectancy was measured in months. At the end of three years, I had
lost all of the clients that I had begun to work with. And although I have lost
them, I have not forgotten them and the marvelous things that they had to
One of the first things that I learned was how many of these men had evolved
to become unashamed of their desires. Though often despised by others, these
men were not ashamed by their desires for people of the same gender. If our
desires define who we are, and who we are hurts no one else; then these desires
are truly something to fulfill and celebrate. Shame, humiliation, degradation,
and embarrassment are antithetical to our desires and inhibit our growth and
fulfillment as human beings. Most of the men that I met were proud of their
sexuality. None would have claimed to be heroes and it is neither my intent nor
place to confer that status on them.
continued next page
World AIDS Day 2008 - A Retrospective 2
Living Well Lab 3
Volunteer Recognition 5
Week at a Glance 6
How an AIDS widow is filling the care gap 8
Community Events 9
World AIDS Day 2008 - A Retrospective
from previous page
Secondly, one of the things I most admired about those pioneers who founded
AIDS support organizations was their prescience in knowing that what
seemed to impact only one community (the gay community) would soon
impact everyone. They rightly saw the issue as of one health, not morality
and fought to establish organizations like AIDS Vancouver and the BC
People With AIDS Society. They fought hard for legitimacy and have left a
legacy that has benefited thousands and has served as a role model for similar
organizations in other parts of the world. With estimates of 25 million people
being infected world-wide it is impossible to underestimate the value of those
early pioneers in fight against AIDS.
...perhaps the most important lesson of all - it is possible to
protect the people we love by being careful in our love.
Focusing on the task at hand, concentrating on what needs to be done now
was one of the other invaluable lessons I learned from my clients. I recall
discussing with one client some of the details of his sex life that time. He
was able to gently but firmly redirect me to what he needed from me in that
moment in time – not a dissection of his sex life, but attending to his current
psychological needs in dealing with what was then a killer disease. This, of
course, eventually led me to the inevitable conclusion that treatment had
nothing to do with technique and had everything to do with how you treated
There were innumerable other lessons that I learned too. I learned that
just as it is possible to live a good life; it is possible to have a “good” death.
And finally, perhaps the most important lesson of all – that it is possible to
protect the people we love by being careful in our love and taking whatever
precautions that we need to protect not only ourselves, but those we care
Although the AIDS pandemic has been the most horrific of modern health
issues, there is still room for optimism. People are living longer (there are even
some survivors from earlier times who are still with us). The world is no longer
in denial about the crisis and most countries are now addressing it. Most of all,
in our grief and sorrow, we need not lose the capacity to love and to remember.
Michael Danyluk, M.Ed.
Registered Clinical Counsellor
The Living Well Lab by Andrea Mulkins
In 2006 Friends for Life (FFL), in partnership with the BC Persons With Overall, LWL members were very
AIDS Society (BCPWA), received a grant from the Canadian Institutes of satisfied (75.9%) with the CTs
Health Research to establish the Living Well Lab (LWL). Its objectives were they receive at FFL. 13.5% were
to 1) explore, through a participatory, community-based process, the impact of disgruntled with the services, citing
complementary therapies (CTs) on the quality of life and wellbeing of FFL’s frustrations over the booking system,
members and 2) provide LWL participants with an online tool that would a desire for more appointments, a
enable them to self-monitor and track their wellness journey. slight degree of frustration when
dealing with practitioners/students,
Participants completed a series of questionnaires over an 18 month period and changes in FFL’s policies like
which focused on such areas as: changes in physical and emotional states, level eliminating coffee and newspapers
of satisfaction with FFL services, social support and personal transformation. and a lack of staff interaction.
Interviews and focus groups were also conducted with members to learn more
about their experiences using CTs at FFL. With thanks to you!
Results The LWL has provided FFL with a
tremendous amount of information
LWL members completed the last survey in August and the final results on how to most effectively support
have recently been analyzed. Members’ commitment to the project has been members in their wellness journeys.
incredible with over one-quarter of FFL members (n= 207) enrolled in the FFL is now in a better position
LWL. to review its services and plan for
The LWL has provided FFL with a rich understanding of who its members the future, including introducing a
are, what their needs are and what they are seeking from FFL. new appointment booking system.
• 60% of participants are dealing with complex health issues; most Because the LWL online tool has
commonly HIV, depression & pain. become an integral part of many
• 59% have mental health concerns participants’ healing journeys, FFL
• 44% live alone has opted to renew the ‘www.
• The most commonly used CTs among members were vitamins, massage livingwelllab.com’ domain. This will
therapy, naturopathy, traditional Chinese medicine and healthy lifestyle provide new and existing members
activities like exercise and diet. with unlimited access to the wellness
tool. As the LWL project draws
Participants indicated they mainly come to FFL to relax, for nutrition support to a close, LWL members should
and daily social support. be proud of the valuable input and
• 53.8% found that socializing with other members makes their time at the insight they have provided into the
house a relaxing experience. effectiveness CTs have on one’s
• 30.7% found the physical environment of the house to be relaxing. health and quality of life. Your
contributions to this research project
While participants reported health improvements in many aspects of their may very well benefit the health of
lives, the most significant were detected in the areas of pain, stress, energy, others who are also dealing with life
empowerment and personal transformation. threatening illnesses.
• 94% of members experienced significant transformative changes in their
wellbeing since coming to FFL (examples of such changes include feeling If you have any questions or would
less isolated, having more friends, eating better, having less pain and like to learn more about the project,
increased mobility). please contact Andrea Mulkins,
• 92% felt these changes resulted in improved quality of life: such as Living Well Lab Coordinator at
decreased anxiety, feeling more confident about their health and having an email@example.com.
enhanced social network.
New Community Partner:
HeartQuest Holistic Wellness Centre
#204-2250 Commercial Drive, Vancouver
(between 6th & 7th Aves, 2 blocks from Broadway Skytrain)
HeartQuest is a truly sacred and comfortable healing sanctuary ideal for
members on the East Side. Whatever your path, we will support you to explore
and unleash your innate ability for self-healing and personal growth. We are
located on Commercial Drive and our space is wheelchair accessible and
known for its peaceful and cocoon-like atmosphere. FFL members are eligible
for 15% off services with these skilled practitioners:
Angela Prider: Shamanic Healing & Self Regulation Therapy
Colleen Robinson: Traditional Chinese & Energy Medicine
Sandra Jewell: Reconnective Healing
Julie Woods: Reiki
Brenna Coupland: Yoga
Marian Douglas & Karla Kadlec: BodyTalk
Lara Greve: Massage, Craniosacral, Reiki
Donna Wait: Aromatherapy Massage
Vicki Farrell: Registered Holistic Allergist
Visit our website to contact practitioners: www.heartquestholistic.com. Bring
your FFL key tag and allow us to support you on your healing journey.
Mira Malatestinic, Home Team
Markus Purtzki, Brunch Crew Lead, Cooking Lessons
Erica Foulkes, Shiatsu
Stephen Wahl, Host
Lillian Chin, Yoga
Rebecca Bishop, Board of Directors
Margaret MacKenzie, Home Team
Vincent Wheeler, Dinner with Friends
Dakota Descoteaux, Board of Directors, Wellness Services Task Team
Jamie Dolinko, Wellness Services Task Team
6 Week-at-a-glance Program Schedule
All programs at 1459 Barclay Street, Vancouver unless otherwise indicated by the @ sign.
We welcome your visit! The parlour is open for members to enjoy our beautiful healing space and a cup of tea any time.
Exception: No drop-ins Sundays after 5:30pm.
Monday Tuesday Wednesday
9:00am - 9:00pm 9:00am - 9:00pm 9:00am - 9:00pm
Sounder Sleep and Rubenfeld Shiatsu* Let’s Dance Thai Mas
Synergy® with Erica @ Coal Harbour with Azfir 9:15am, 1
with Gilly 9:30am, 10:45am, 12:00pm 480 Broughton (2nd and
9:30am, 10:30am 10:00am
(2nd and 4th) Reconnective Healing* 9:15am, 1
with Holly Reading Room Access 12:15pm
Hatha Flow Yoga 9:15am, 10:30am, 11:45am 10:00am - 12:00pm
Level 2 @ Coal Harbour Counsell
with Cat Reflexology* BRUNCH 10:00am,
10:00am with Elizabeth 11:30am - 12:45pm
10:00am, 11:00am, 12:00pm Jin Shin
Reading Room Access (2nd and 4th) Stryker Service Acupunc
10:00am - 12:00pm 12:30pm, 1:00pm, 1:30pm, 2:00 pm 10:35am,
BRUNCH with Hilde Reiki*
11:30am - 12:45pm 9:30am, 10:30am, 11:30am with Brian
(1st and 3rd) Gentle Y
Integrative Energy Healing Clinic Iyengar Yoga 3:00pm
12:30pm, 1:30pm, 2:30pm Traditional Chinese Medicine~ with Terri
(bi-weekly) with Simon 2:45pm Aromath
10:30am, 11:15am, 12:00pm 3:00pm, 4
Indian Head Massage* Massage*
with Sandra Sinclair Hypnotherapy with West Coast College Reflexolo
1:30pm, 2:00pm, 2:30pm with Andrew 4:30pm, 5:45pm, 7:00pm 5:00pm, 6
(twice monthly) 1:00pm, 2:30pm, 4:00pm
Massage* Counselling Danielle
with West Coast College with Anne 6:00pm, 7
4:30pm, 5:45pm, 7:00pm 1:00pm, 2:30pm
Naturopathic Medicine Clinic
with The Boucher Institute Cooking
5:30pm, 6:30pm, 7:30pm 6:00pm -
Please visit our website at www.friendsforlife.ca/wag to view the most up-to-date version of Week-at-a-glance.
* Program is restricted - you can only have a total of three of these programs in a month and three booked at a time.
~Program is limited - you can only have two of these appointments in a month for each program.
Thursday Friday Weekend
9:00am - 9:00pm 9:00am - 9:00pm Saturday
9:00am - 9:00pm
Thai Massage* with Gordon Traditional Chinese Medicine~
9:15am, 10:45am with Emilie Hypnotherapy~
(2nd and 4th) 9:30am, 10: 15am, 11:00am, 11:45am with Adrian
(bi-weekly) 9:15am, 10:30am, 11:45am
Naturopathic Medicine~ with Bobby
9:15am, 10:00am, 10:45am, 11:30am,
12:15pm Integrated Healing* Kundalini Yoga
with Lori with Sheila and Sat Dharm
Counselling with Patricia 9:15am, 10:30am, 11:45am 10:00am
Flute Meditation Reiki and Attunement~
Jin Shin Do Acupressure and with Mhenowah with Tim
Acupuncture* with Toby 10:00am 10:00am, 11:00am
00 pm 10:35am, 11:55am (2nd and 4th)
Yoga Reiki and Acupressure~
One-to-One Yoga with Lillian
@ Coal Harbour with Anita with Bettina
12:30pm, 1:30pm (2nd and 4th)
480 Broughton 10:00am, 11:00am
Gentle Yoga with Heidi 1:00pm
Aromatherapy* with Suzanne with Utopia Academy 12:00pm - 8:00pm
3:00pm, 4:15pm, 5:30pm (bi-weekly) 1:30pm, 2:45pm, 4:00pm
Course in Miracles
Reflexology* with Brian Speak Spanish 12:15pm - 3:00pm
5:00pm, 6:00pm, 7:00pm (bi-weekly) with Vicki
Shamanic Healing with Grant or (once a month)
Danielle with Anna
6:00pm, 7:15pm (bi-weekly) 12:15pm, 1:20pm
@ New West Clinic Shamanism and Usui/Tibetian
Hand and Foot Care* with Barb
613 Columbia Reiki~
6:00pm, 7:00pm (bi-weekly)
4:30pm, 5:45pm, 7:00pm with Brent
Cooking with Markus 1:00pm, 2:15pm, 3:30pm
6:00pm - 8:00pm (once a month) Cooking
with Chef Chop Chop Cancer Support Group for Women
Mindfulness Meditation with David 6:00pm - 8:00pm with Barbara
7:00pm - 8:30pm (bi-weekly) (once a month) 4:00pm - 5:30pm
(last of the month)
Traditional Chinese Medicine~ Naturopathic Medicine Clinic
with Fion with the Boucher Institute Dinner with Friends
7:00pm, 7:15pm, 7:45pm, 8:15pm 5:30pm, 6:30pm, 7:30pm
(bi-weekly) arrive by 5:30pm
How an AIDS widow is filling the care gap
In African villages ravaged by HIV, volunteers are taking the pressure off MSF
doctors by giving advice
There is a rustle behind the bed taking their medicines, to act as eyes make sure you go to the clinic,”
curtains and Regina Ombita comes and ears for the medical staff. Regina tells him. “Go early, because
out in a bright red T-shirt with the the clinic will be busy.”
slogan: I Am HIV Positive. Actually, Ducking through the low doorway
the T-shirt is a lie. Although Regina’s of Charles Wanneyo’s hut, Regina While HIV/Aids is a dramatic
husband is suspected to have died finds him lying on a mattress on the problem for Africa, the discomforts
from HIV/Aids he was never tested. floor, wrapped in a grey blanket. He of living with the virus are much like
has an upset stomach, and Regina the problems of any chronic illness:
She herself tested negative. asks whether he has been drinking how to find a carer, how to get to the
She wears the T-shirt as a challenge, boiled water. Charles’s 18-year-old clinic, how to cope with taking large
a come-on almost. “I am happy son, his main carer, was supposed to quantities of drugs. In public clinics,
to wear it, because then
some people come and ask "...the first thing we shall do before taking each other
me questions. Some say,
if Regina can wear these is to go for the test. He did and the man was positive."
clothes, there is no fear.”
boil the water for him but has been overworked doctors and nurses have
Once dressed Regina, 40, strides out sent out of the village on an errand. little time to answer these questions.
of her hut to visit her “clients”. She His brother, who is sitting alongside, Volunteers can fill that gap.
is a volunteer for the medical charity promises to fill the breach.
Médecins sans Frontières in western The advice the volunteers give can
Kenya, and her clients are HIV- Charles is taking drugs for be as simple as good nutrition. Some
positive neighbours. Her job is to tuberculosis, which are almost villagers believe that eating well
give advice, to see whether clients are finished. “Tomorrow you should means saving until they can afford
How an AIDS widow is filling the care gap
processed food such as sliced bread. Not everyone is so wise. Helen the volunteers, our hospitals were
Volunteers encourage them to eat Usiku, a basket weaver, is married full,” said Beatrice Misoga, an MSF
eggs laid by their own chickens, and to a fisherman, Justus. Both look nurse. “Now the hospitals have been
garden vegetables. healthy, but Helen has lost several relieved.”
children in infancy and is pregnant · On Saturday Rory Carroll reports
Busia lies near Lake Victoria, where again. Both are HIV positive. The from South Africa on how MSF has
the abundance of fish is both a virus is believed to have entered their used counselling to overcome stigma,
blessing and a curse. “Money sells household when Justus “inherited” the biggest barrier to the diagnosis
HIV very fast,” Regina said. “A an HIV-positive widow. Helen was and treatment of HIV/Aids.
farmer plants a seed and waits for embarrassed about having conceived.
it to grow, but a fisherman catches “I felt afraid,” she told Regina. “In The biggest challenge facing many
a fish and sells it the same day.” the hospital they said that if you are African countries is the pandemic
Fishermen often trade part of their HIV-positive you are not supposed of HIV/Aids. Only a fraction of
catch for sex, often unprotected. to conceive and deliver a baby, you the millions across Africa who need
The prevalence of HIV/Aids are supposed to have protected sex.” anti-retroviral drug treatment is
among adults in the Busia district is Regina urged the couple to have getting it. The Guardian has teamed
estimated at 16%. their baby in a clinic, where medical up with Médecins sans Frontières on
staff can reduce the chances of HIV a long-term project to ensure your
The practice of “widow inheritance”, transmission from mother to child. regular support can reach the most
in which a woman whose husband vulnerable through their pioneering
dies marries one of her husband’s Regina became a volunteer when HIV/Aids clinics in countries
relatives, gives the Aids virus a way to her husband was dying, and MSF including Malawi, Mozambique,
travel rapidly through a community. volunteers gave her counselling. Burundi, Congo, Kenya, Ivory Coast,
When Regina’s husband died, she There are now 144 volunteers in Nigeria, Uganda, Zambia and South
was approached by a relative who Busia district. By monitoring patients Africa. This is a race against time.
wanted to “inherit” her. “I told this and helping their carers, they have
man, the first thing we shall do improved the quality of life for more Article found on: http://www.
before taking each other is to go for than 2,000 HIV-positive people guardian.co.uk/world/2005/dec/21/
the test. He did and the man was and vastly reduced the pressure kenya.aids
positive. That saved me a lot.” on local hospitals. “Before we had
Christmas at Canada Place: On the Sails the spirit of Canada Place’s renowned
Date(s): Thursday Dec 04, 2008 to Wednesday Dec 31, 2008 fireworks displays, the light show will
Time: 6:00 PM - 10:00 PM both amaze and inspire, while raising
Location: Canada Place Sails at Canada Place funds and awareness for charity.
Organization: Canada Place Corporation www.christmas.canadaplace.ca DONATE $10 more online at www.
christmas.canadaplace.ca and you’ll
Description: Come see Canada Place in a whole new light. This year marks be entered into the Grand Holiday
our 21st annual Christmas at Canada Place event. Bringing a new twist on an Prize Contest to win an all inclusive
old favourite, Canada Place and the Vancouver Convention Centre proudly trip for two to Jamaica courtesy of
present Christmas at Canada Place: On the Sails. In celebration of the Air Canada Vacations and other
holidays, our iconic sails will shine like never before. Canada Place will feature great prizes!
an incredible nightly light show, right on the sails. The nightly animation will More Events Coninued Next Page
feature a display of festive animation, vibrant colours and inspiring designs. In
Community Events Continued
Date(s): Sunday Dec 07, 2008
Time: 11:00 AM - 6:00 PM
Location: Grandview Legion, 2205 Commercial Drive at East 6th
Description: www.gotcraft.ca Sunday December 7th 2008 from 11:00am to
6:00pm, Royal Canadian Legion 2205 Commercial Drive (at E. 6th Avenue)
| $2.00 (kids 10 and under are FREE) | First 30 people receive a FREE
handmade swag bag full of goodies. Featuring 50 local artists, got craft is a
modern twist on the conventional craft fair. Support Vancouver’s handmade
revolution and buy local. Visit our website at www.gotcraft.ca for more
information and a full list of participating vendors.
Rogers Santa Claus Parade
Date(s): Sunday Dec 07, 2008
Time: 1:00 PM - 2:30 PM
Location: Downtown Vancouver
Organization: Rogers Santa Claus Parade
Description: Mark your calendar! The first Sunday in December is the official
date of the Rogers Santa Claus Parade. Santa’s early visit to Vancouver on
Sunday, December 7th, 2008 is the perfect kick off to the holiday season! The
Rogers Santa Claus Parade features over 60 marching bands, dance troupes,
festive floats and community groups, which entertain over 300,000 spectators.
Produced by Rogers Retail, Rogers Wireless and Rogers Radio, the televised
Parade is the Lower Mainland’s biggest winter event lining the streets of West
Georgia and Howe. A very special part of the Rogers Santa Claus Parade is
celebrating the Spirit of Giving. Each year, Rogers volunteers collect non-per-
ishable food items and monetary donations on behalf of the Greater Vancou-
ver Food Bank Society. In the past four years, over $22,000 and 26,500 pounds
of food have been collected from generous Parade audiences. Come join in the
magic, fun and festivities at the 2008 Rogers Santa Claus Parade!
Nutcracker 3D at The IMAX Theatre at Canada Place
Date(s): Saturday Dec 20, 2008
Time: 10:00 AM
Location: The IMAX Theatre at Canada Place
Organization: Canada Place Corporation
Description: A specially priced $5 per person showing of the “Nutcracker 3D” Set in present day London, and
will take place December 20 at 10am at The IMAX Theatre at Canada Place. featuring a cast of more than 150
Proceeds to Strathcona Community Centre’s Food Security for Children performers, it is the grandest, most
Program. Tickets will be available online at www.canadaplace.ca/christmas/ ambitious dramatic interpretation of
Attractions and at the door (subject to availability). The Nutcracker 3D “The Nutcracker”. A must see for the
features a wonderful enchanted kingdom of spun sugar, ruled by a wooden holiday season.
soldier prince, which springs to life through the magic of IMAX technology.
Christmas Dinner in Africa
After attending church, the family Christmas meal
is second priority for African Christians. Lunches
and dinners are usually in local style. Spending
time together with the beloved ones is the most
important thing. Open air lunches of roasted goat
are common in East Africa. Barbeques on the
beaches of South Africa or according to traditions
left behind by the British; with mince pies, turkey
and plum pudding. In Ghana Christmas dinner
will surely include fufu and okra soup, while
Zimbabweans make sure there are plenty of bread,
jam and tea to eat along with their goat meat.
Fufu is a mash of yams or other starches served
as an accompaniment to meat or vegetable stews.
To eat fufu, pull a small ball of mush off with your
fingers, form an indentation with your thumb and
use it to scoop up stews and other dishes. Or place
large balls in individual serving bowls and spoon
stew around them.
White yams - 2 pounds
Butter - 2 tablespoons
Salt and pepper - to taste
1. Place the unpeeled yams in a large pot, cover
with cold water and bring to a boil over
medium-high heat. Boil for 15-30 minutes,
or until the yams are cooked through and tender. Drain and let cool
2. Peel the yams, chop them into large pieces and place them into a large
bowl with the butter, salt and pepper. Mash with a potato masher until
very smooth. Alternatively, put the yams through a potato ricer and then
mix with the butter, salt and pepper.
3. Place the fufu into a large serving bowl. Wet your hands with water, form
into a large ball and serve.
12 Art for Life 2008
Life Connections is the newsletter of the Vancouver Friends For Life Society (FFL). FFL serves as a catalyst to
enhance the wellness of individuals living with a life-threatening illness by providing complementary and alternative
health and support services.
You can sumbit any articles or pictures to Karen MacKay at firstname.lastname@example.org.