HIV, three letters that can send a jolt through even the strongest heart. But for more than a decade Judith Higgison hasn't let the often intimidating nature of the virus keep her from providing a positive attitude to those living with the disease.
Friend, Robert Fitzgerald, says of Judith, "She has a real sympathy for people and a real empathy for them."
Each week her positive attitude support group provides peer counseling, education, and compassion.
Says friend, Frieda Saraga, "At the very beginning we used to have people dying all the time and Judy and I were present when several people died. Family members would call and we would be there."
But over time thanks to medical advances the group began to refocus. "Now it's a matter of living, the needs are different. People are living lives longer" according to Frieda. And they are appreciating Judith's fierce dedication even more.
"She has made the commitment to show up that same time every week for the last fifteen years," says Robert.
When it comes to giving Judith teaches by example. Dorcas Tanner, a friend of Judith's, says, "I have learned from Judy to be patient, to be compassionate, and to think of others instead of yourself."
"It's such a pleasure for me to do what I do," Judith says. "I have little patience for people that don't want to help others."
According to Robert, "My life has already been enriched by knowing her and she's left me with something that I can carry on with me."
Because she give so much to those facing life's greatest challenges First Coast News is proud to honor Judith Higgison as one of 12 Who Care.
First Coast News