MACKLEMORE & LEWIS STAR OPENS UP ABOUT HIS MOM’S HIV SURVIVAL

http://www.cbsnews.com/news/macklemore-ryan-lewis-star-opens-up-about-his-moms-hiv-survival/

You may know Ryan Lewis as the fur coat-wearing, DeLorean-driving half of the rap duo known as Macklemore & Ryan Lewis.

Their debut independent album “The Heist” reached No. 1 and earned them four Grammy awards. But despite being thrown head-first into fame, there is something Lewis has not talked much about, until now.

CBS News’ Ben Tracy recently sat down with Lewis. Tracy asked, “When you got famous, did you assume at some point you’d have to talk more publicly about this?”

Lewis replied, “I mean, I have an AIDS ribbon tattooed on my arm. Like, if you’re gonna do that, you gotta be kinda willing to share.”

He’s talking about his mother, Julie Lewis. She is HIV-positive. She’s lived with the disease for 30 years.

Julie Lewis said, “I had been married couple of years, and we were expecting our first child. She was born, and it was a difficult delivery, and I lost a lot of blood, and so I ended up needing a blood transfusion.”

It was 1984. Donated blood was not routinely checked for HIV. Six-and-a-half years later, Julie Lewis found out her donor was HIV-positive. She now had three children, including Ryan Lewis.

Julie Lewis said, “So my immediate concern was, ‘Is our whole family infected?’ Because the minute I found out I was HIV-positive, the next step was that every single person in our family needed to have an HIV test, and we had to wait three or four days for those tests to come back, and I will tell you that was the longest three or four days I will have ever lived.”

Despite having a 25 percent chance of being HIV-positive, none of her children were infected. Neither was her husband. But Julie Lewis was told she would be dead within three to five years. She was 32 years old.

Ryan Lewis said, “And I remember having periods of fear almost – that fear that your mom’s just gonna kinda be gone.”

Ryan Lewis was just 6 years old when his dad told him about his mom’s disease. They had tried to keep it secret in their community in Spokane, Wash.

“I told my second grade class,” Ryan Lewis said.

Julie Lewis added, “He did. He told everyone.”

“You know, I told the lady bagging the groceries at the Albertsons,” Ryan Lewis said.

“We’re, like, she’s, like, checking our groceries,” Julie Lewis recalled. “And he goes, ‘Does she know that you have AIDS?’ And I was, like, ‘Well, I guess she does now.'”

n an online video launched Tuesday, Ryan Lewis announced his family’s way of celebrating his mom’s 30-year survival.

He says in the video, “We want to build medical centers worldwide that will stand strong for at least 30 years. It’s called the 30/30 Project.”

The first health center will be built in a village in Malawai, where more than 1 in 10 adults has HIV or AIDS. They currently have to walk two hours down a mountain to the nearest medical care.

“If that community stays healthy, that means that the parents stay healthy,” Julie Lewis said. “And if the parents stay healthy, they can earn a living. And if they’re earning a living, then those children can go to school.”

The project is about helping the living. But for Julie Lewis, this is also about friends who died of AIDS. “There is survivor guilt there,” she said. “Yes, I’m grateful that I lived. But I want to do something to honor all those people that we love dearly who died along the way.”

Ryan Lewis and his music partner, Ben Haggerty – that’s Macklemore’s real name – are the first donors. They are hoping to inspire others to give and fund 30 health centers worldwide, serving 600,000 people.

Haggerty said in the 30/30 Project video, “We want to see this idea put into action.”

Tracy asked Lewis, “If you weren’t Ryan Lewis of Macklemore & Ryan Lewis, is this possible? Could you do this?”

“I don’t think you would be here,” Ryan Lewis said with a laugh.

“That’s probably true,” Tracy said.

“That’s probably true,” Ryan Lewis said. “It’s pretty amazing for me that my family could have this story, my mom could go through all of this and it could come to this point that I could use sort of the platform that’s been provided to invest my time and energy into something that is just really positive.”

Haggerty said in the 30/30 Project video, “We want to see this idea put into action.”

Tracy asked Lewis, “If you weren’t Ryan Lewis of Macklemore & Ryan Lewis, is this possible? Could you do this?”

“I don’t think you would be here,” Ryan Lewis said with a laugh.

“That’s probably true,” Tracy said.

“That’s probably true,” Ryan Lewis said. “It’s pretty amazing for me that my family could have this story, my mom could go through all of this and it could come to this point that I could use sort of the platform that’s been provided to invest my time and energy into something that is just really positive.”

© 2014 CBS Interactive Inc. All Rights Reserved.

(CBS News Editor’s Note: Those who wish to learn more about the 30/30 Project should visit www.indiegogo.com/projects/30-30-project, where incentive-based donations are being accepted.)

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DEPORT JUSTIN BIEBER PETITION: THE WHITE RESPONDS IN STATEMENT

https://celebrity.yahoo.com/news/justin-bieber-deport-petition-white-house-responds-statement-171500798-us-weekly.html

Not this time! The White House officially responded to a petition that asked for Justin Bieber’s deportation on Friday, April 18, ultimately siding with the 20-year-old entertainer.

“Sorry to disappoint, but we won’t be commenting on this one,” the statement read. “We’ll leave it to others to comment on Mr. Bieber’s case, but we’re glad you care about immigration issues. Because our current system is broken. Too many employers game the system by hiring undocumented workers, and 11 million people are living in the shadows.”

“Not only is it the right thing to do morally, it’s the right thing for our country: Independent economists say immigration reform will grow our economy and shrink our deficits by almost $1 trillion in the next 20 years,” the statement continued. “For those of you counting at home, that’s 12.5 billion concert tickets — or 100 billion copies of Mr. Bieber’s debut album.”

Back in January, a “Deport Justin Bieber and Revoke his Green Card” petition received over 100,000 signatures asking that the Canadian native leave the U.S. The petition was created shortly after the “Boyfriend” singer was arrested for DUI in Miami on Jan. 23.

“We the people of the United States feel that we are being wrongly represented in the world of pop culture,” the petition read. “We would like to see the dangerous, reckless, destructive, and drug abusing, Justin Bieber deported and his green card revoked.”

It continued: “He is not only threatening the safety of our people but he is also a terrible influence on our nations youth. We the people would like to remove Justin Bieber from our society.”

The petition has clearly not fazed the singer over the past several months. He’s been back in he studio since, and was spotted getting cozy with on-again, off-again girlfriend Selena Gomez at Coachella in Indio, Calif., on April 13. “Justin took the lead and was escorting Selena through the all-access area,” an eyewitness told Us. That same day, he surprised the crowd by performing on stage with Chance The Rapper.

This article originally appeared on Usmagazine.com: Justin Bieber Deport Petition: The White House Responds In Statement

Comments:

Knock Knock: Of course he should be deported. There are people who are sent back to Mexico who did nothing wrong since they arrived. They worked and cared for their children. Then you get a low life like Justin Bieber who has broken laws and made a mockery of our country. He should be the poster boy for a reason to send him packing. The US govt should make him an example and send him back to Canada and from what I hear they don’t even want the little douchebag back.

Concerned: The United States federal government is not going to deport this kid. He makes millions of dollars a year which means that the Federal Government likes him. He should be punished for his crimes, but that does not mean that he should be given special treatment or harsher treatment. This kid believes that the law doesn’t apply to him because he’s rich and famous and that’s very dangerous. How many times has this kid had run-ins with the law? How many times has he or his people assaulted paparazzi? He acts tough when he has 300 lbs bodyguards behind him. This kid needs to learn that there are consequences to his actions and if he doesn’t learn that now one day he’s going to kill someone. Just because he wasn’t under the influence of alcohol doesn’t mean that he wasn’t under the influence. He had drugs in his system and even if they were prescribed legally, he isn’t allowed to operate a motor vehicle while using those drugs. His people are going to defend him until he kills someone then he’s going to hung out to dry.

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