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Coping by Helping.

Growing up in the picturesque seaside town of San Pedro, California, in the late '80s, Jamie Morales had little time for other kids or the beach. She spent much of her free time dealing with seriously iii family members.

"Grandpa Louie died when I was 5, my Uncle Jeff when I was 6, and my mom when I was 7--all from AIDS," says Jamie, now 16 and living in Wichita, Kansas, with her legal guardian, Sandy Hyson, an AIDS educator. Morales's father, who lives nearby, also has AIDS.

Although Morales was devastated by the death of her loved ones, she began to cope by talking to others about the disease. Three years ago, she put together a half-hour slide show drawn from family photos, which she has shown to more than 11,000 people in the Wichita area. Her dedication to AIDS education has brought her many national honors, yet, she says, "I would give these awards all back to have my family again."
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Author:Wisenthal, Paul
Publication:New York Times Upfront
Article Type:Brief Article
Date:Sep 4, 2000
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