Monday, March 31, 2014


Yesterday, I focused on a cancer survivor.   Well, two female cancer survivors.  

Today, more from The Immune Power Personality.  Henry Dreher met Michael Callen in 1984, when Callen had already had AIDS for three years.  Dreher described him as "energetic, robust, and upbeat," and without visible symptoms.

 Callen was giving a talk at conference on psychological factors in AIDS.  He described his fight against prognosis that AIDS patients would die quickly, calling it "'the propaganda of hopelessness.'"  And he spoke about his fight against the medical community's lack of effort to beat AIDS.

Later Callen described his life:  a good doctor, acceptance of the seriousness of his disease, and a refusal to accept a death sentence.  Dreher describes him as "motivated by love and a search for meaning in his life work and relationships."   He was inspired by Callen's ongoing exploration of  "the role of personality in recovering from illness."

Callen went on with his singing career.  And he went on with his polite but determined war against medical and lay people's ignorance and apathy regarding AIDS.  

And he challenged the gay community to give up their denial of the dangers of common sex practices.  In short, he basically created what we now refer to as "safe sex."

He traveled extensively to talk with other AIDS patients.  He  did an end run around government stalling by creating and initiating localized research funding.  

Later he continued his personal passions, spent time cooking, and even wrote a book about his and other patients' lives.  Oh, and recorded a solo album of his songs.

Service.  But without abandoning his own abilities and joys.

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