About | Free Trial

Last Update

2001-10-07T00:00:00.000Z

This profile was last updated on . .

Is this you? Claim your profile.

Background Information

Employment History

Organist

Washington Heights Grace Brethren Church

Street Outreach Worker

AIDS Council

Pastor

Hollins Road Baptist Church

Web References


Living with the shadow

www.roanoke.com [cached]

Open , honest and frightened , Alvin and Donna share what they have learned from battling HIV.

...
Both struggled to deal with the diagnosis , Alvin in 1991 and Donna in 1988.
...
Alvin walked to the Wasena Bridge with the idea of throwing himself off , and Donna turned to crack cocaine.
...
Donna had been a basketball and track stand-out at JMU and at Northside High School in Roanoke County , where she still holds the record in shot put.She was living the life of a young barfly , she says , waitressing and bartending , driving a Trans Am.She helped her dad with his rental-property business on the side , working on houses and mowing yards.
She still looks back on those years and wonders : If she'd been able to land a job using her sociology degree , would she have stabilized.Would she now be HIV-free.
I've never really been promiscuous.I mean , it's kinda hard to date when you're six-feet-one..
Shortly after the HIV diagnosis , she learned she was pregnant , too.Her daughter , Alysisa now 12 , does not have the virus ; nor does her son , Marcus , 8. Donna was married once , to Alysisa's father , for two years.But making him wear a condom - and submit to frequent HIV testing at the health department - put too much strain on the marriage.
When she became pregnant with her son - after another night of being talked out of using a condom , she says - she was so distraught she turned to crack.Depressed and on drugs and fearing for her baby's health , she finally hit bottom and called her pastor at Hollins Road Baptist Church.That's when I got saved , she says.
Her son weighed a healthy 11 pounds at birth - and he tested negative for HIV.
That was the beginning of the change of my life , Donna says.
She joined support groups for drug users and people living with HIV.She even wrote a health newsletter for women with HIV and for a time worked as a street outreach worker for the AIDS Council.
Although her depression caused one drug relapse , she's been clean for the past 18 months and attends three Narcotics Anonymous meetings a week.On disability since 1996 , she lives on slightly more than $600 a month , including the support she receives for one child.And she still helps her dad with odd jobs , living rent-free in his Northeast Roanoke house in exchange for fixing it up.It's a quiet spot on a dead-end street with a small vegetable plot out back and a few flowers in front.
Her family has been supportive , Donna says , as has her church.When her mother died a year ago , Donna took her seat as organist for Washington Heights Grace Brethren Church , playing every Sunday morning.
She doesn't hide her HIV status the way most do.The guys she plays pick-up basketball with at Washington Park know , she says.So do acquaintances from Fallon Park pool , where she swims with her kids.She considers openness critical to her healing.
Years ago , she tried to hide her illness.But word spread anyway , and someone once threw a brick through her window and flattened her tires.
One guy threatened to kill me after we kissed once.He said , 'You didn't tell me you had AIDS.'.
It's easier , she says , to be open with everyone.And to remain celibate.

Similar Profiles

Other People with this Name

Other people with the name Firebaugh

Todd Firebaugh
Solutran Inc

Joel Firebaugh
Community Church

Brian Firebaugh
Woodside Ranch Homeowners Association

Thomas Firebaugh
Town of Cromwell Connecticut

Beth Firebaugh
Benefitfocus.com Inc

Browse ZoomInfo's Business Contact Directory by City

Browse ZoomInfo's
Business People Directory

Browse ZoomInfo's
Advanced Company Directory