Local woman shares story of personal loss
© Adam Harnum
Karen Seaward with daughter Elizabeth in her arms and daughter Rachael stands at her front get ready to register for the Scotiabank AIDS Walk for Life Sunday afternoon at Margaret Bowater Park.
CORNER BROOK — It was a long, hard battle for 31-year-old Karen Seaward and her family while father, Philip Herritt, suffered from HIV for 16 years until his eventual passing in January of 2012 at the age of 53.
However, Seaward and her two children — Rachael and Elizabeth — joined a number of HIV/AIDS awareness supporters at Margaret Bowater Park in Corner Brook Sunday afternoon for the Scotiabank AIDS Walk for Life, a national event to help with raising money for those living with the disease.
Seaward said there needs to be more knowledge spread about HIV/AIDS to prevent the disease from infecting more people, but events such as the walk are beginning to make more people aware.
According to the AIDS Committee of Western Newfoundland, over 65,000 people are currently living with HIV/AIDS and every two hours someone else becomes infected.
“When I went to school, it was rough ... not many people knew about HIV or AIDS and they were bullies about it, actually,” said Seaward.
To have lost her father to such a deadly disease, Seaward wants her children and other young people to be more educated about it so the numbers of those stricken will eventually decrease.
“It’s no different than any other illness, like cancer or anything else, but for some reason people look at HIV and AIDS a lot differently,” she said.
“Every year, I think, there is more knowledge about it and people are becoming more aware about it,” she said of HIV/AIDs and the positive impact which awareness events such as the annual Scotiabank AIDS Walk for Life has played on educating society.