Part 1 of the WHBF Series – Robb’s Life 20 Years Later

WHBF Robbs Life logo 2Part One of Emily Scarlett’s series updating Robb’s Life 20 years later was broadcast last night on WHBF Local 4 News in Rock Island, Illinois, the station where the series originally ran 20 years ago.

The purposes of bringing the original series back on this blog in “real time” this year is to honor Robb’s legacy, continue his mission to educate people about how to avoid HIV, and to raise funds for the cause that was his focus during the last months of his life — the DeLaCerda House, which provides housing and support for homeless HIV and AIDS clients in the Quad Cities.

Click this link to see part 1 of Emily Scarlett’s series. Part 2 airs tonight at 10 on WHBF, featuring Robb’s doctor, Dr. Louis Katz, who talks about Robb’s impact and the AIDS situation 20 years later.

You can donate to the DeLaCerda House by clicking this link and then clicking the “Donate” button on the right side of the page.


Robb’s Life Chapter 28 – Hanging Drywall and Robb’s Final Thanksgiving

Robb at Thanksgiving, 1995.

Robb at Thanksgiving, 1995.

Twenty years ago this week, Robb was racing to renovate the abandoned house in Rock Island into a shelter for homeless HIV and AIDS clients. Along with his father, Lorney, and a friend, Ray Williams, Robb was hanging drywall and doing other work to make the old house inhabitable.

This would be Robb’s final Thanksgiving, and he was amazed that he was still alive and feeling well enough to hang drywall.

I remember shooting this piece very clearly, and when I was editing, I noticed there was a look in Robb’s eyes that had not been there a few months earlier. It was the look of someone who is sick, whose body is struggling. But when he smiled, his eyes sparkled as they always did. It was clear that he was not smiling as often these days.

Renovating the interior of what would be known as "Robb's House."

Renovating the interior of what would be known as “Robb’s House.” Ray Williams is on the left. 

But Robb was focused intensely on providing shelter for homeless HIV and AIDS clients — people who were less fortunate than he — so he was pouring his limited energy into the DeLaCerda House. Twenty years later, his work is still doing a lot of good in our community.

After all these years, you can still help, and that is the reason that we are honoring Robb’s memory during this 20th anniversary year of Robb’s Life. Please help keep Robb’s legacy alive by donating, even just a few dollars, to the DeLaCerda House. Just go to their website at and click on the “Donate” button on the right side of the page.

And don’t miss WHBF-TV’s special news series this week updating Robb’s Life 20 years later. Watch WHBF Local 4 News at 10:00 p.m. on Monday, Tuesday, and Wednesday, November 23, 24 and 25.