Tim’s Story

The Most Important Phone Call You Will Ever Make

The three weeks in 2007 between when Tim B. was diagnosed with HIV and when he began working with CRI were some of the toughest and most frightening that he’s ever faced. “It was emotionally devastating. I was already buckling under the weight of the $920 a month for all of my medical needs,” Tim said. “In the back of my head, which quickly came to the front of my head, was my ‘oh my god’ moment: ‘How will I ever handle all this?’”.

Luckily, through CRI’s programs, Tim was able to able to gain some control over his life. “Very quickly I realized that HDAP and CHII were very big supports in my ongoing treatment of the HIV virus. Medically, financially, and emotionally, it was a support.” In addition to the financial assistance, Tim credits CRI for supporting his mental wellbeing, both by helping him alleviate the stress of paying his medical bills, but also by being an approachable partner on the other end of every phone call or email exchange. But even with that support, dark times were difficult to overcome.

“There were a couple of times when I hit very low emotional points in my life. Even though I had the support, just the thought of not being able to deal with all my medical issues, plus facing the ever-present HIV, I attempted suicide twice. Not having that financial support from CRI would have probably pushed me beyond the edge sooner and with devastating results. So, you see, CRI is really lifesaving.”

For those who are facing a new HIV diagnosis, Tim says that a call to CRI is “the most important phone call you will make in your life. I’m saying that in all honesty and truth.” Over the ten years Tim has participated in these programs, he has built a strong relationship with the HDAP and CHII specialists at CRI. “I never felt like I had to bow my head in shame when I came to CRI for help. And that’s a real good feeling to know that you have that support. Support for this organization is a lifesaving gift. Just as surely as an organ donor gives part of themselves when they pass away, or when they’re alive and share a kidney or a piece of their liver, so many people are helped by this organization. Knowing that CRI is here certainly gives me hope that other people who battle with the frightening effects of HIV—emotionally, physically and financially—will be as fortunate as I am.”

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