We’ve heard time and time again how the tough economy is taking its toll on Mainers.
For those who are battling AIDS and other life-threatening diseases, it is double draining.
The Eastern Maine AIDS Network is doing all it can to cope with both an infectious and economic crisis.
":We really focus on living.": Said EMAN’s Executive Director, Patsy Murphy. ":So living is medical care, drugs and pharmacology, it’s helping folks really manage their disease so that they can move towards some sort of level of independence and self-sustainability. ":
But all of that costs money, and for a non-profit agency like Eastern Maine Aids Network, the current economic crisis has them worried.
":Many of our folks are covered under an AIDS drug assistance program, but there’s many drugs out there that are not covered. So that’s where we’ll step in. Additionally, food. Food is a critical component to somebody who is living with HIV. Their metabolisms are really revved up and they require a different nutritional quotient and quality of food.":
EMAN also helps with transportation costs to and from medical appointments. Murphy says they do have some state and federal funding to help with costs, but considering their clientele covers Aroostook, Piscataquis and Penobscot counties, the budget is stretched thin.
And now, Murphy says, the recession has coincided with an increase in the number of people seeking services from EMAN.
":This disease is so smart, and it presents differently in each person. So there is no one size fits all.":
On Saturday, February 7th, Eastern Maine AIDS Network will host its third annual Red Ribbon Ball.
This is the biggest annual fundraiser for the agency.
It takes place at Spectacular Event Center in Bangor. For ticket information you can call EMAN at 990-3626, or visit them online at www.maineaidsnetwork.com