Robb’s Life Chapter 33 -Life-Saving Funds from Ryan White

During the week of January 23, 1996, Robb Dussliere went to Springfield to provide input to state agencies about the distribution of Ryan White funds to help people with HIV and AIDS in Illinois.

Ryan White

Ryan White, 1971-1990

Ryan White funds were named for the young AIDS patient who was befriended by Elton John and became one of the most famous early victims of the AIDS epidemic. Ryan, a hemophiliac who acquired HIV from a blood treatment, died 6 years before this story was broadcast. He was one of the first people who made the world realize that AIDS was not just a “gay” disease.

Robb’s activism was important. He knew that he was lucky to participate in meetings like this, where decisions were made that affected the lives of real people. And since he depended on some of these funds for his own rent and health care, Robb had a personal stake in the decisions being made.

Today, after all these years, people living with HIV and AIDS still need support. The DeLaCerda House, Robb’s number one charity during the final year of his life, provides housing and other support to those who need help while living with this illness. You can donate by going to and clicking on the “Donate” button on the right side of the page.

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