I met Christie and her husband, Angel after moving to San Diego in 1992 to return to school. I was in major denial of my own status. I met her in a heterosexual AIDS support group. She reached out to me and refused to let go. She became my mentor, my friend, my sister. I was lost... she, Angel and there son took my young daughter and myself into their care. Because of her I began to face my fears, to live with this dis-ease. She became my mentor, my friend, my support & strength, she was there when my family wasn't.
We lost her husband nearly 2 years prior to her falling to HIV. I was with her in her last days and I felt her leave when she departed. She is a major part of why I have been able to continue to be strong. Every day I wake is because of her.
Here legacy lives on in San Diego thanks to her adoptive family, the Miltons. Irene and her husband Doug met her and her family through the San Diego AIDS Foundation. They were matched as a supporting family. Irene started "Christies Place" for HIV women with children. Christie touched people like that -- she always left a lasting impression.
I hope that others will see this memorial and add to the special light that she shared with all of us.