SMC Walking the Walk for AIDS

Josh Cambell, Campus Service Center Assistant For the first time at Samuel Merritt College (SMC), faculty, staff and students are joining the 21st Annual AIDS Walk San Francisco. Nearly two dozen people from the College have signed up for the event.

"As employees and students of one of the Bay Area's leading Health Science Institution as well as members of the community, several of us felt that this was a cause that was not only close to us personally, but professionally as well," said Josh Campbell Campus Service Center Assistant and Team Captain SMC AIDS Walk.

According to, approximately 19,000 San Francisco residents are living with HIV/AIDS; accounting for approximately 19 percent of all HIV cases in California.

"These are people that we may know and love, or a patient that our students will one day be assigned to take care of," said Campbell. But on July 20th, the person he will have on his mind that day is his late cousin Judy.

'She passed away from AIDS in 1995, she was only in her 30's," said Campbell. "Now that I am older I see and understand the impact the disease has on not just the person who contracted the virus, but their family and friends, the community."

That is why Campbell and nearly two dozen participants from SMC are trying to raise $5,000 to benefit the San Francisco AIDS Foundation (SFAF), in addition to several other local AIDS service organizations. The non-profit organizations provide critical education programs, prevention, and outreach efforts to help stop the spread of HIV/AIDS in the local community. They also provide much needed assistance for those who are living with HIV/AIDS, including food, transportation, nutritional supplements, medical and pharmaceutical assistance as well as rental and utility bills assistance, and counseling. Currently Team SMC AIDS Walk has raised a little over $1,600.

"Being surrounded by so many Health Science students has inspired me, knowing that each of these individuals is going to go out and make a difference in the lives of everyday people," said Campbell. "I am able to look back now at all of those who made Judy's last days here easier and more comfortable, the Hospice workers, the nurses and the doctors."

The walkathon is a 10-kilometer around San Francisco's Golden Gate Park that begins at 8:30am. For more information on how to join Team SMC AIDS Walk contact Josh Campbell at Campus Service Center at 510-869-1508.


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