Elizabeth Glaser

Laurie D. T. Mann

Elizabeth Glaser, the founder of the Pediatric AIDS Foundation, died on December 3,1994 in California. She was 48 years old.

Ms. Glaser was having an almost idyllic life in California, married to an actor and the mother of a girl and a boy. When her daughter was born in 1981, Ms. Glaser had labor complications and received blood transfusions. Several years later, her daughter became myseteriously ill and eventually died. Late in her daughter's illness, the girl was diagnosed with AIDS, and both Ms. Glaser and her young son diagnosed HIV-positive. (AIDS was transmitted to the daughter from breastfeeding.)

Ms. Glaser went on to found the Pediatric AIDS Foundation as a tribute to her daughter and to the thousands of other children with AIDS. She got people involved in the fundraising and awareness fight. She also wrote a gut-wrenching book about her daughter's illness and how her family has had to cope with the disease.

She was my hero. Many people would have crawled in a hole after loosing a child and discovering their own mortality was staring them in the face. How that woman fought, for her son, for herself, for the hundreds of thousands of other people out there.