On the morning of April 22, 1986, Joel Rothschild was rushed to the hospital suffering from AIDS-related pneumonia. From that day, his life became a weary and surreal maze of experimental drug trials, support groups, memorial services for lost loved ones, opportunistic infections, and hospital stays. Through all of this, Rothschild refused to succumb to what he saw so many of his peers fall victim to: the stigma of AIDS, the emotional isolation, or worst of all, the final end of suicide.
Instead, he chose to live as simply as possible, continually trying to see beyond fear and self-sabotaging thoughts to what each day brought. Rothschild gained hope and strength knowing he’d survived so much loss and physical suffering, growing more confident with each bout of depression or illness he overcame.
The power and inspiration readers will take away from Hope comes from knowing how he has survived when millions of others have not. In his arduous process to “re-join the land of the living, ” Joel realized that physical suffering and pain is a circumstance that will always come to an end. We can choose to escape it, however it is only by meeting this suffering head-on that we will truly see our life as a wondrous existence and know peace.
— The miraculous journey beyond fear of one of the world’s longest living AIDS survivors
— A noted activist and talk-show guest, Rothschild received the prestigious TV Cares Award from the National Academy of Television Arts and Sciences in 2001