World Aids Day is a time for communities to show support for people living with HIV, and to remember those who've died from the disease. Aids is a disease that kills millions of people world wide and right here in the U-S people are uniting to fight against Aids. According to the C-D-C, the majority of Americans living with H-I-V do not have their disease under control. The Rainbow Center provides free testing daily and education about H-I-V.
"But the main thing is education is the prevention that we have now a days for HIV. The more educations you have about the disease, the less likely of you contracting the disease because you're protecting yourself through education" , said Executive Director of the Rainbow Center in Macon, Micheal Leon.
If you would like more information on the Rainbow Center and how you can help. You can go to their website at www.rainbowcenter.us
In this week's Making Middle Georgia Great series, we introduce you to a woman who has been instrumental in bringing awareness to breast cancer.
Susannah Cox was Chair for the Susan G. Komen Race for the Cure in Macon.
Cox seems to somehow stay out of the spotlight, but we were able to snag her for an interview!
When Cox was first asked to volunteer one year of her life to The Race for the Cure, she didn't know what to say.
" I first thought, I don't know why I'm being asked to do this," Cox said.
She also knew it was a huge responsibility.
But with prayer and support from her family and friends, she jumped on board.
"It's a lot of learn as you go, and just be ready to jump whenever necessary."
The Race for the Cure takes place in cities across the country. And right here in Middle Georgia, this past springs' race, brought in record numbers.
"We far exceeded our numbers, our fundraising, our survivors there that day, as well as our attendance."
But having a great turnout, wasn't the only ambitious hope for Susannah.
"I saw so many women and men that had stories about their battle, or their daughters' or sisters'...it's for their stories," Cox explains. "Hopefully we don't have more of these stories. The more people know about it, the more people are aware, the more early success rates we can have."
Since the race began in Macon 13 years ago, more than $1.4 million has been raised for local breast cancer patients.
A program across middle Georgia, is helping cancer patients get to and from their treatments.
The Road to Recovery program is organized through the American Cancer Society, where volunteers drive their own vehicles to get patients to their appointments.
Franklin Freeman lives in Forsyth, Georgia. He was diagnosed with a rare cancer known as Multiple Myeloma. His early retirement, suddenly became less relaxing.
"It (the cancer) attacks your bones, it attacks various organs in your body, and that soon results in death," Freeman explains.
His treatment meant receiving a complete stem cell transplant, and put Freeman in the hospital for weeks at a time.
"You can't stand up, you can't walk, you can't do anything much to help yourself after you've got a heavy dose of chemo. You just need a lot of assistance."
Aimee Freeman, is a regular volunteer for the American Cancer Society. She gives her time, by driving cancer patients to their appointments, through the Road to Recovery program.
"We either drop them off...we've gone to Atlanta, we go to Macon. Wherever they need to go."
But volunteering became much more personal for Aimee, when it was her husband Franklin, who received the diagnosis.
Doctor visits to Atlanta became a regular theme in the Freeman's lives.
"At one point, they sent me home, and I'd been home here about five or six hours. And I get a phone call that says, 'we gotta have you back up here, we've discovered you've got fractures, and pneumonia, and infections. And you gotta check back in,'" Franklin says.
But giving up, was never an option for either Freeman.
"The first time you do it," Aimee explains. "You maybe go, 'You know, I really needed to do something else.' You do it (drive) one time, and the feeling you have after that, you don't mind doing it anymore."
"Miracles do happen," Franklin says. "We may not always recognize them, but I think the type of cancer treatment we have today, is indeed a modern miracle."
Franklin's cancer is currently in remission.
If the Road to Recovery program is something you would like to donate your time to, or if you need assistance with your treatment visits, call the middle Georgia American Cancer Society office.