BACKGROUND: Brianna Lamar, 14, a freshman at Skyline High School
in Dallas, was born HIV-positive and has successfully struggled
to maintain a normal life. In addition to staying healthy, her
mission is to educate people about HIV and how to avoid becoming
infected. Children's Medical Center Dallas nominated Brianna for
the 2011 Champion Award from the Children's Miracle Network, a
nationwide consortium of hospitals that specialize in pediatric
care. The Champion program recognizes a special child from each
state and Washington, D.C., for courage while facing severe
medical problems. Each Champion becomes an ambassador for the
Children's Miracle Network, traveling to Washington to tell their
stories to government officials and making a special trip to
Disney World in Orlando, Fla.
WHAT'S NEW: Brianna was not chosen as the 2011 Champion for
Texas. The Children's Miracle Network announced Tuesday that the
Texas representative will be Dustin Strelsky, 13, of Rockdale in
southeast Texas. Dustin is recovering from a severe spinal cord
injury suffered during a car wreck last January. Children's
Hospital at Scott & White in Temple nominated him.
WHAT'S NEXT: Brianna said she's disappointed that Children's
Miracle Network did not select her, but she will continue to tell
her story and educate people about HIV. "It's been so forbidden
to talk about, but someone has to say how not to get infected,"
she said. "There are things you can do to prevent getting HIV,
but only if you know about it."