By Courtney E. Smith
Macklemore and Ryan Lewis made a surprising announcement today, via their YouTube channel. In a just-posted video, Macklemore revealed that Lewis’ mother, Julie Lewis, has been living with HIV for 30 years. He followed that by announcing the duo’s support for an Indiegogo campaign called the 30/30 Project. The project is seeking $100,000 in donations to build clinics worldwide that will provide healthcare, with the first planned for Malawi.
On the project’s Indiegogo page, Lewis posted a statement explaining that his mother contracted HIV from a blood transfusion while delivering his older sister.
“When she was finally diagnosed, she was given only a few years to live,” Lewis writes. “By that time, she had already given birth to my sister Laura and me. We each had a 25% chance of being born HIV+, but we were extremely fortunate (today, the risk of a mother passing HIV to her baby is 2% or less if she is taking medication). Thanks to advanced medicine and healthcare available here in the U.S., my mom has lived despite her odds.”
The 30/30 Project has partnered with Seattle non-profit Construction for Change to build the clinics they’d like to launch and Partners in Health to run them. “We want to give hope to women and families in other parts of the world who lack access to quality, affordable healthcare,” Lewis writes.
The Project has identified the first three clinics they would like to build, all in African countries with a high rate of HIV contraction, but the $100,000 will only get the first clinic built. Any funds in excess of that are pledged to begin a second clinic in Kenya.
More information on the project can be seen in the introductory video about it, below.