For World AIDS Day Rob Garofalo shared the story of life-saving dog just as the acclaimed doctor was losing his way to an HIV-positive diagnosis.
Doctor Rob Garofalo had spent much of his life dedicating himself to the cause of helping AIDS patients, particularly those in the LGBT community. His medical career, propped by a successful research career as well evolved around helping AIDS patients.
Yet, after just recovering from a battle with kidney cancer, a damaging breakup taking its emotional toll, Rob was also tested positive for HIV. The diagnosis prompted an almost total breakdown and shutting from the world. Rob could not apply the same advice he had given to many throughout his career to himself. With his friends and family worried sick as to his well-being, Rob simply couldn’t tell them the truth. He knew at the same time it is the best strategy and that HIV is not a death row sentence nowadays, with medication allowing a successful and long life. He had preached these things over and over to other AIDS/HIV patients for most of his adult life. Yet he was trapped in despair.
Little did he know that one happening would bring him back to life, to his career and challenging the world. One day, Rob Garofalo got Fred, a Yorkshire terrier the mere existence of which put Rob back on track.
Simple things are the best to keep one focused on the most important steps in life. Rob started leaving his apartment more often as Fred needed caring and food. Walks, runs, and human interaction with all of Fred’s fans. The bond between Fred and Rob grew so strong and powerful that it gave the doctor the strength to admit to his mother and friends what he had been going through.
As Rob Garofalo shared the story of life-saving dog, so did many others inspired by Rob’s efforts to set up the project titled When Dogs Heal. When Dogs Heal greatly benefits from the work of photographer Jesse Freidin and writer Zach Stafford. Together, they have managed to bring the stories of so many others like Rob Garofalo who found comfort and strength after learning they are HIV-positive just in having their dogs around.
When Dogs Heal launched an exhibition right on World AIDS Day. First in Chicago and then in New York City, the exhibition drew thousands of participants empathizing with the cause and the relation between a human and a dog that can be life saving.
Photo Credits: gopride.com
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