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Ryan Wayne White (December 6, 1971 – April 8, 1990) was a young man from Kokomo, Indiana who became a national poster child for HIV/AIDS, after being expelled from school because of his infection. A lifelong hemophiliac, he became infected with HIV from a tainted blood treatment in 1984 and was given six months to live. Though doctors said he posed no risk to other students, AIDS was poorly understood at the time and when White tried to return to school, many parents and teachers in Kokomo rallied against him. A lengthy legal battle with the school system ensued, and media coverage of the struggle made White into a national celebrity and spokesman for AIDS research. He appeared frequently in the media with celebrities such as singer Elton John, pop star Michael Jackson and talk show host Phil Donahue. Surprising his doctors, White lived five years longer than predicted and died shortly before completing high school in April 1990.

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Tributes and Condolences
July 7: Celebrating Ryan and Remembering Michael   / Kerry Manning
I was particularly moved today during Michael Jackson's memorial service when Usher sang "Gone Too Soon." I was unfamiliar with the song but looked it up online tonight because the lyrics really spoke to my heart. I was quickly reminded of the beauti...  Continue >>
May God keep you safe   / N. Dhanpat (fan)
I know what it feels like to be discriminated on. I am indian, always be called horrible names, and people think I am someone that I am not. I feel your pain, but Let it be known you Legacy will continue to live on. Along with the Former Micheal Jack...  Continue >>
You've been a good boy!!   / Charis Leones (Fan)
hi I first saw ryan in the video of micheal jackson on myx it's a show here in the philippines where they payed tribute to the pop star...well i was curios about the song "Gone too soon" where a beautiful boy was featured...so I searched it...  Continue >>
JUST A FEW WORDS   / KENTRELL FONTENOT (NONE)
MY MOTHER IS A PCA. SHE WORKS AT A GROUP HOME THAT HOUSES HIV/AIDS VICTIMS. MOST PEOPLE ARE SO IGNORANT TO THE DISEASE THAT THEY FAIL TO REALIZE WHAT EFFECTS IT HAS UPON THE PERSON. NOT ALL PEOPLE GET IT THROUGH BEING SEXUALLY ACTIVE OR HOMOSEXUAL. I...  Continue >>
Miss Him   / Miss. Jewel Toews (a fan of his )
That is so sad that is he gone he is such a nice kid  why did he had to suffer  now people  should learn from this   what he suffered from hope we find a cure soon   ryan white is happy in heaven now no more suff...  Continue >>
i know it's too late nowmy condolence.  / Jan Elizabeth Danielle Mendiola (None But i was amaze by him )    Read >>
Your legacy still lives on  / Renee (Fan)    Read >>
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His legacy
Ryan's Legacy  
White was one of a handful of highly-visible AIDS-victims in the 1980s and early 1990s, who helped change the public perception of the disease. White, along with actor Rock Hudson, was one of the earliest public faces of AIDS. Along with later public figures who became associated with HIV/AIDS, like the Ray brothers, Magic Johnson, Kimberly Bergalis and Freddie Mercury, White helped to increase public awareness that HIV/AIDS was a significant epidemic.

Numerous charities formed around White's death. The Indiana University Dance Marathon, started in 1991, raises money for the Riley Hospital for Children. Over the past 17 years, this event has helped raise over $5 million for children at Riley. The money raised has also helped found the Ryan White Infectious Disease Clinic at the hospital to take care of the nation's sickest children. White's personal physician, with whom he was close friends, Dr. Martin Kleiman, became the Ryan White Professor of AIDS Medicine at Indiana University School of Medicine in Indianapolis. In a 1993 interview, prominent gay rights and AIDS activist Larry Kramer said, "I think little Ryan White probably did more to change the face of this illness and to move people than anyone. And he continues to be a presence through his mom, Jeanne White. She has an incredibly moving presence as she speaks around the world."

In 1992, White's mother founded the national nonprofit Ryan White Foundation. The foundation worked to increase awareness of HIV/AIDS-related issues, with a focus on hemophiliacs like Ryan White, and on families caring for relatives with the disease. The foundation was active throughout the 1990s, with donations reaching $300,000 a year in 1997. Between 1997 and 2000, however, AIDS donations declined nationwide by 21%, and the Ryan White Foundation saw its donation level drop to $100,000 a year. In 2000, White's mother closed the foundation, and merged its remaining assets with AIDS Action, a larger charity. She became a spokeswoman for AIDS-action and continues to arrange speaking events through the site devoted to her son, Ryan White.com.

White's death inspired Elton John to create the Elton John AIDS Foundation. White also became the inspiration for a handful of popular songs. Elton John wrote "The Last Song" which appears on his album The One in Ryan's memory. Michael Jackson dedicated the song "Gone Too Soon" from his Dangerous album to White, as did '80s pop star Tiffany with the song "Here in My Heart" on her New Inside album.
 
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