‘The Berlin Patient’ Timothy Ray Brown to be commemorated at Wellness Park memorial bench ceremony on May 7
PALM SPRINGS – The Timothy Ray Brown “The Berlin Patient” Memorial Campaign consortium has announced Friday, May 7, 2021 as the date for the dedication ceremony of a memorial bench and plaque in The Wellness Park, located at the corner of Via Miraleste and Tachevah Road in Palm Springs.
The dedication ceremony will be held at 12 noon in The Wellness Park near the meditation circle and labyrinth and is open to the public.
Timothy Ray Brown was an American considered to be the first person cured of HIV/AIDS. Brown was diagnosed with HIV while studying abroad in Berlin, Germany in 1995, and later developed acute myeloid leukemia. Brown (pictured, right, with his life partner, Tim Hoeffgen) underwent two stem cell transplants and discontinued his HIV therapy. By the end of 2007, it appeared that the treatment worked – both for his HIV and for his cancer. Brown was called “The Berlin Patient” at the 2008 Conference on Retroviruses and Opportunistic Infections, where his HIV cure was first announced, and after that he dedicated his life to supporting research to search for a cure for HIV. Brown’s leukemia recently returned, and he passed away on September 29, 2020.
To memorialize Timothy Ray Brown’s life and journey, a consortium of HIV/AIDS organizations collaborated to launch the Timothy Ray Brown “The Berlin Patient” Memorial Campaign. The Campaign raised funds to dedicate a memorial boulder with a touching inscription in the National AIDS Memorial Grove in San Francisco and a memorial bench and plaque in The Wellness Park adjacent to the Desert Regional Medical Center in Palm Springs. The National AIDS Memorial Grove memorial boulder dedication ceremony event is expected to be held this fall in San Francisco.
The coordinating consortium consists of the National AIDS Memorial, Let’s Kick A.S.S. (AIDS Survivors Syndrome) Palm Springs (LKAPS), amfAR-The Foundation for AIDS Research, Desert Healthcare District and Foundation, HIV + AIDS Research Project-Palm Springs (HARP-PS), and Until There’s A Cure Foundation.
The consortium collaborated with Tim Hoeffgen, Brown’s life partner, in the effort. “I am so happy that the HIV community and family and friends have joined together to memorialize Timothy Brown’s activism and legacy at the AIDS Memorial Grove in San Francisco and The Wellness Park in Palm Springs. Having these special places to remember and meditate on Timothy’s life is what I envisioned, and I am extremely grateful for this outpouring of support,” Hoeffgen said in a prepared statement.
Hoeffgen will attend the dedication ceremony along with representatives from the Desert Healthcare District & Foundation, HARP-PS, LKAPS and the Timothy Ray Brown Memorial Campaign.
The Wellness Park, along with its interactive gardens, is an integral part of the Desert Healthcare District and Foundation’s commitment to health promotion and community collaboration and partnerships designed to improve the health and quality of life for all District residents. The five-acre park is adjacent to Desert Regional Medical Center and provides a rich opportunity for patients, their visiting families and friends, staff, and residents to exercise, unwind, relax, and meditate. The Wellness Park offers a quarter-mile walking/jogging loop with drinking fountains and benches at regular intervals, five exercise/fitness stations, and various gardens – meditation, memorial, and a healing and fragrance garden with a bubbling fountain.
Timothy Ray Brown Campaign donations can still be made at the campaign donation website*, with 100% of the tax-deductible funds raised directly supporting the memorials. For more information, contact campaign coordinator Jim McBride at (415) 793-2370 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
More About Timothy Ray Brown
Timothy Ray Brown was an American considered to be the first person cured of HIV/AIDS. Timothy was diagnosed with HIV while studying abroad in 1995, and later developed acute myeloid leukemia. Timothy underwent two stem cell transplants and discontinued his HIV therapy. By the end of 2007, it appeared that the treatment worked – both for his viral infection and for his cancer.
Timothy was called “The Berlin Patient” at the 2008 Conference on Retroviruses and Opportunistic Infections, where his cure was first announced, and after which he dedicated his life to supporting research to search for a cure for HIV. Timothy moved back to the United States in 2010, and to San Francisco in 2012. Shortly thereafter, Timothy met his life partner, Tim Hoeffgen. The couple moved to Palm Springs in 2015.
Over the last decade, Timothy became a visible and vocal advocate for HIV and cancer research. He traveled to many conferences around the world to tell his story and inspired researchers, activists, and patients living with HIV. He established the Washington, D. C.-based Timothy Ray Brown Foundation dedicated to fighting HIV/AIDS. He also inspired the establishment of IciStem, a collaborative project to guide and investigate the potential for HIV cure by stem cell transplantation. In 2015, he published “I Am the Berlin Patient: A Personal Reflection”.
Timothy never again tested positive for HIV. His leukemia, however, relapsed last year and Timothy passed away on September 29, 2020. He was 54.