The bravery of absolute strangers who invite me into the most intimate truths about their existence still astounds me. Recently, I encountered another such hero, Princess.
I met Princess during a morning thunderstorm in Monrovia, Liberia. As the rain hammered on the tin roof above, Princess recounted her story of growing up as a refugee in Ghana during the war. She eventually became very ill, but doctors couldn’t pinpoint the problem. Some said malaria, others said TB, but no treatment made her better. When she finally returned to Liberia and visited JFK Hospital, they discovered that she is HIV positive. Thanks to The Global Fund, she was able to immediately begin antiretroviral treatment, which drastically improved her health. However, 2 years later she defaulted and her health quickly deteriorated again. Her mother brought her back to the hospital and during the appointment a nurse grabbed a piece of paper and wrote “Life” and “Death”. “Pick one,” she commanded.