The Elizabeth Glaser Pediatric AIDS Foundation was adopted as one of AEPhi’s national philanthropies in 2000. The Foundation (www.pedaids.org) was founded in 1988 by AEΦAlumna Elizabeth Meyer Glaser (Sigma Chapter, University of Wisconsin) and her two close friends AEΦ alumna Susie Bernstein Zeegen (Xi Chapter, University of Southern California) and Susan DeLaurentis, shortly after Elizabeth and her husband, Paul, discovered that she, along with their two children Ariel and Jake, were infected with the AIDS virus as a result of a blood transfusion.
The Foundation had one critical mission: to bring hope to children with AIDS. With little research being focused on the issue of pediatric AIDS, the three women sought to bring awareness and a possible cure to the innocent children around the world affected by HIV/AIDS.
Through the work of the Foundation and partnerships like the one with Alpha Epsilon Phi, research and knowledge have greatly increased. The number of children born with HIV is decreasing. The life expectancy of the children with HIV infection is increasing and they are getting to live healthier, happier lives. Though Elizabeth did lose her own battle with AIDS her spirit lives on through the efforts of the foundation. The foundation has raised hundreds of thousands of dollars towards AIDS research in the 22 years since its inception.
AEPhi is proud to be able to support such a worthy cause through financial support of the Foundation and by raising awareness about pediatric AIDS. Chapters across the country hold events to both raise money for the Foundation and educate their campus communities about the unique issues facing young people living with HIV and AIDS.