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Social Movements for Good: How Companies and Causes Create Viral Change by Derrick Feldmann

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Chapter 9Bringing a Social Movement for Good to a College Campus Near You

At the age of 13, a young boy from Kokomo, Indiana contracted AIDS from contaminated blood transfusions he received for hemophilia, a condition he had had since birth. His story gained national attention when his school banned him from attending because of the fear of AIDS and other students contracting the deadly disease. Little was really known at that time about the disease, and fear was running rampant across the country. Individuals didn't quite understand the issue enough to understand that the disease cannot harm people by simply being in one's presence.

The boy, Ryan White, went to court to fight his school district for the same education his friends were getting. The court battle captured the attention of many people nationwide. His family was under immense stress because of the public's lack of understanding of the disease. The public directed their anger toward the family for standing up for the rights of those who couldn't. Ryan and his family moved from Kokomo to Cicero, Indiana with the hope of getting a new start on their life.

Unfortunately, Ryan's health continued to suffer. On April 8, 1990, Ryan White passed away at the age of 18. His death happened before he was able to attend the college of his dreams—Indiana University.

Jill Stuart was a little girl when she met Ryan and her new Cicero, Indiana neighbors, the Whites, for the first time. She recalls how mesmerizing his personality ...

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