Jake Glaser Speaks about His Mother's Legacy at Glamour's 20th Anniversary Gala in New York
WASHINGTON, Nov. 10, 2010 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- Elizabeth Glaser was honored this week by Glamour as one of its first "Women of the Year" at the magazine's 20th anniversary gala, held Monday night at New York City's Carnegie Hall. The event celebrated ten new Women of the Year for 2010 – including Julia Roberts, Cher, Queen Rania of Jordan, Fergie, and Donatella Versace – as well as paying tribute to some of the most influential awardees from the past twenty years.
Jake Glaser, Elizabeth's son, was a guest of honor at the event with father Paul Michael Glaser and Charles Lyons, President and CEO of the Elizabeth Glaser Pediatric AIDS Foundation. Following a video memorial to his mother, Jake delivered a moving testimony to her life, her battle with AIDS, and her legacy to all children and families around the world living with HIV. Because of her efforts, the elimination of pediatric AIDS is within our grasp, and the Foundation that she created now works in the regions of the world hardest hit by the AIDS pandemic to make that a reality.
"I wish you all could have seen her in action. With my dad's support, she fought for a child's right to live, she fought for my right to live, and in turn, to make a better life for all children around the world," Jake Glaser said of his mother to assembled guests at New York's Carnegie Hall. "Today pediatric AIDS has been virtually eliminated in the United States. We are now working to do the same in 17 countries around the world to bring that same care to the children and families who need it most. I stand before you today and say that it is possible to eliminate pediatric AIDS."
Elizabeth Glaser contracted HIV in a blood transfusion in 1981 while giving birth to her daughter, Ariel. She unknowingly passed the virus on to Ariel through her breast milk, and to Jake in utero. After Ariel's death in 1988, Elizabeth and her friends Susie Zeegen and Susan DeLaurentis created a foundation to fund the pediatric research necessary to save the lives of Jake and other children around the world.
"Elizabeth Glaser was already a hero when Glamour honored her as a Woman of the Year in 1990, but her legacy – which has changed the lives of countless mothers and children – makes her even more heroic," said Glamour Editor-in-Chief Cindi Leive. "We're proud to be able to recognize her life-saving work and the continued commitment of her son, Jake Glaser."
Elizabeth lost her own battle with AIDS in 1994, but the movement that she and others started resulted in the discovery of methods to reliably prevent mother-to-child transmission of HIV. While new pediatric infections have been virtually eliminated in the U.S. and other developed countries, there are still nearly 1,200 children needlessly infected with HIV every day.
The Elizabeth Glaser Pediatric AIDS Foundation has become the leading global nonprofit organization dedicated to preventing these infections. The Foundation works in 17 countries and at more than 5,000 sites, using innovative research, advocacy, and prevention and treatment programs in pursuit of its global mission to eliminate pediatric HIV and AIDS worldwide.
"The Foundation is honored by Glamour's tribute to Elizabeth Glaser, and is committed to finishing her mission to eliminate pediatric AIDS," said Lyons. "Because of her courage and commitment to save the lives of her own children, the Foundation today provides prevention, care, and treatment to millions of women and children around the world."
About the Foundation:
The Foundation is a global leader in the fight against pediatric HIV and AIDS, and has reached nearly 10 million women with services to prevent transmission of HIV to their babies. It works at 5,000 sites in 17 countries to implement prevention, care, and treatment; to further advance innovative research; and to execute strategic and targeted global advocacy activities to bring dramatic change to the lives of millions of women, children, and families worldwide.
SOURCE Elizabeth Glaser Pediatric AIDS Foundation