Tall Poppy Syndrome

I was born in 1967 with a rare bleeding disorder called, hemophilia. All through elementary school I was bullied because of my weakness and difference. Also in junior high, where the bullying became more dangerous. Fortunately, the varsity football team took me under their wing and protected me in high school… For the first time, I was not bullied.

I thought the bullying was over… Then, in the mid eighties I received a bad batch of blood to cure a bleed. This blood product, called Factor VIII, was tainted with HIV and I was the lucky recipient. Little did I know that the bullying was about to go to a whole new level. Besides the whispering of people whom I called friend, the biggest first thing that happened to me was being asked in front of my entire community at our neighborhood swimming pool, “Do you have AIDS?” I lied and ran crying from this situation.

Next, the death threats started coming in via anonymous telephone calls (back then there was no caller ID). Someone also threatened to burn our house down if we did not move out. This was a scary time for everyone and the stigma was in full swing. I quickly realized that a safer bet was to hide my HIV status and act as if there was nothing wrong. Well, this was tough because it was becoming more known that most hemophiliacs had it. So, I also hid my hemophilia.

Within a few, short years, all of my hemophiliac friends were dead. I was literally the last man standing and completely quiet about my affliction. Twenty-three years later, I compiled my life journal into a book and published my memoir, Survivor: One Man’s Battle with HIV, Hemophilia, and Hepatitis C. This was my “coming out” party. I mean, it was impossible to hide my status with a published book out there… I felt relief overcome me as I admitted to the world that I was a long-term survivor and thriver. People came out of the woodwork with questions and stories. I was thrown into the limelight and overnight became an inspiration to thousands of hemophiliacs who had dealt with this situation in their own lives.

There was a down side… The stigma surrounding HIV was lessened, but still in operation. So, I have managed to duck and dodge my way through a few of those situations that brought back horrific memories of the old days. Mostly though, it was all up-side and inspirational things that happened to me.

Out of the blue, an amazing man, Barry Haarde, approached me as another HIV+ hemophiliac who was also coming out about his status. He was quickly becoming a special man in our easy bleeding community. Barry talked to me, and inspired (more like motivated) me to get back into the bleeding disorder community and not only tell my story, but help raise awareness and battle for other hemophiliacs. I did.

What does all of this have to do with poppy plants? You ask… hmmm… Well, I wanted to give you a little back-story of where I’ve been before discussing today’s article.

The Australians have a saying… It’s called tall poppy syndrome. See, if a particular poppy grows taller than the others, it will steal the sun and water from a bunch of other, smaller, poppies. So, they chop the tall one down in a sacrifice to save many others. When this saying translates to people, it has a less positive outlook, and means when some people see you attaining success and growing before their very eyes, they chop you down to keep you down among them. You can see this derogatory version is a little bit disheartening.

Today’s post was inspired because I find myself trying to promote me, hemophilia, HIV, and fitness to raise awareness in this callous world. I am currently leading a competition (by a long shot) to appear on one of the most popular Men’s magazines in the world, Men’s Health. You can see my entry (and vote for me) here: www.mhguysearch.com/entry/37 (yes… that was a shameless promotion).

Of course I want to be on the cover! I’m proud of what I’ve accomplished despite my “issues.” However, I’m not so shallow that this is only to get ME on the cover… I’m doing this for you too. I have found a purpose that is more important than just me. Supporting people with hemophilia, Von Willebrand, other bleeding disorders, and HIV+ or other life-threatening diseases. Also, for anyone who struggles with staying fit and healthy! I am the poster child for all of us!!!

The rules of the competition state that people can vote once daily. I did not write these rules, but I understand the importance of them. Therefore, I posts a daily plea to my friends to request their vote.

Can you imagine putting an HIV+ hemophiliac on the cover of a popular health magazine (for the first time ever)?? This is an incredible opportunity to raise a huge amount of awareness in an otherwise unknown community of bleeding disorders.

With this in mind, over the last several days I have received a few messages talking about me spamming the community. Now I must mention that I am receiving thousands of like, votes, and messages saying how inspiring this is. And, hundreds of hemophiliac moms have reached out to me saying how important my message and story is to their children. The good outweighs the bad by the hundreds. However, the bad messages do stand out to me, and hurt my feelings.

You see, I was asked by many, a few years ago, to please stand up and be heard. To help support the community by sharing my story. And, I answered this calling by doing so. Yet I now find myself occasionally battling people who seem to be trying to bring me down. I know these feelings might be my own internal battles, but I can’t help but wonder if some are merely picking on me and my advocacy simply because they are miserable and want to attack people who they see doing good things in this world. I’m certain that not everyone of these spam name callers feel this way, but I’m also aware of a few who literally are negative and sometimes downright mean.

Spam? Really?

Let’s define Spam… Besides being a canned meat product, spam is also defined as a noun that means: Irrelevant or inappropriate messages sent on the Internet to a large number of recipients.

While I am posting in an environment that has a large number of recipients, I feel that my appeal for awareness is extremely relevant and appropriate. Perhaps I’m nitpicking by defining spam and excluding my posts from it, but I’m making a point. If I’m reaching out to a community to raise awareness and help those who cannot help themselves… How can I possibly be spamming? It is not always easy to raise awareness, be an advocate, and speak out to the world about tough subjects… If it was easy, everyone would do it!

No one is asking for your money (although I might if the event warrants it). I’m not asking you to do some crazy thing… I’m simply asking you to visit a website and make your voice heard, by voting for me. How do you think I got in first place (by more than double)? Do you think I would have this many (or any) votes if I didn’t post anything? Of course not!

I’m an honorable man doing honorable things. I stand by a community that all but disappeared when they all died around me. I feel like a phoenix who has risen again and find a whole new generation of young bleeders and their families flocking to me for advice and inspiration. I will continue to tell my story to the ones who want to hear it. If you don’t appreciate my outlook on life, then simply don’t read my posts!

We recently passed the thirty year mark of discovering AIDS. And, I have been living with it for more than twenty-eight years. It is high-time that we broke this stigma and show that you can be a HIV+ hemophiliac and still be healthy.

I’m not only standing up for hemophiliacs. Nor only HIV+ people. I’m also standing up for average people in general. Statistics show that more than 65% of Americans are overweight. I fear this number is far higher than advertised. I am using myself as an example of someone who is suffering through much more than the average person and still manages to stay extremely fit and healthy. My message is simple: If I can do it, so can you! This applies to everyone!!!

Most of you are VERY supportive of me and my platform. Because of you wonderful people, I will not stop my efforts. This is despite (and sometimes to spite) the naysayers who try and beat me down. To quote Chumbawamba, “I get knocked down, but I get up again.”

You all lift me up and make me feel like a loved person. You also inspire and motivate me to continue my work and voice… Thank you!

Have you ever run in to “Tall Poppy Syndrome,” or know someone who has? Have any advice or thoughts on the matter?

Cheers,
Vaughn

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The Ultimate Men’s Health Guy Search

A sudden and powerful change happened to me on (or about) March 11, 2014. I was flipping through the pages of Men’s Health magazine and saw an ad titled “Are you fit? Healthy? Driven? Giving? Enter to win the Ultimate Men’s Health Guy Search.” The ad went on to say that one lucky winner would be featured on the cover of Men’s Health magazine.

I smiled and thought… I’m extremely fit. I’m very healthy. I’m over-the-top driven. And… I absolutely love giving. My smile eased a little and the gears started grinding in my head. I chuckled… But, the more I thought about it, the more I realized… I was cut out precisely for this competition.

Then the doubt started creeping in. You know the doubt… The realist inside each of us. It was saying things like, “Dude, you’re 46 years OLD.” “You’re medication over the years has stripped fat from your cheeks and butt and stuck it in funky places!” “Life has put battle scars on you.” “There will be two dozen or more seriously good looking model-ish men competing in this among a field of hundreds of others.” Finally my inner demon said, “What possible chance do you think you have?”

For a few minutes I nodded my head in agreement with the dark side of my mind. Then, a tipping point happened. I thought of John Belushi saying, “Was it over when the Germans bombed Pearl Harbor?” I laughed again. And something neat happened… A glimmer entered my eye. And, I realized that this was doable. I knew it would be an uphill battle, but honestly what great outcome isn’t tough? I decided then and there that I would enter. The contest started on March 15, 2014 – so I stored this thought in the back of my brain, tore the page out, and got on with life.

Jump to 3/15/14 – Some of the original negative thoughts started pouring in. I was nervous. Am I being silly? Before these bad feelings could bring me down, I suddenly had another thought… Has a hemophiliac EVER been on the cover of Men’s Health? I don’t know… Maybe..? Has an HIV+ person ever graced the cover of Men’s Health magazine? Again, I didn’t know, but figured probably… (I should know this stuff). Then it hit me – I know… That there has NEVER been an HIV+ hemophiliac on the cover of Men’s Health magazine, because I know them all! It was settled then and there… I opened the website and started my entry process.

March is Hemophilia Awareness Month. For goodness sakes, Ronald Wilson Reagan made it so back in 1986!!! And, more than 90% of ALL hemophiliacs born before the mid-1980’s got HIV from a bad blood transfusion. And, almost ALL of them died from AIDS or complications around this horrible disease! It was destiny that I would stumble on this opportunity in March, during Hemophilia Awareness Month!!! I was in head first!

Honestly, I was simply hoping to be in the top ten, so I could raise awareness for hemophiliacs and HIV+ people. When I entered I sincerely did not think that I would win. The competition would be far too strong and who the heck am I?

Guess what… On day one, I skyrocketed to first place. And, I’m not talking about a little jump, I was ten times ahead of the second place person! It was incredible.

By day two, many more men had joined and they were gaining, but I was still at least four times as many votes ahead of everyone else.

By day three I realized, I could actually win the voting portion of this competition. That was when it happened. You see, in life, nothing (I mean NOTHING) worthwhile is easy. And, there is no reason that this would be different. Realizing that I could win this voting section of the contest, I re-read the rules carefully. There it was glaring at me…

Upload at least one (1) but up to three (3) digital photographs … taken within thirty (30) days prior to the date of your Entry into the Contest…

Holy crap! In my rush to enter… With the mindset of “I can’t possibly win this thing…” I had made a vital mistake. I had uploaded older photos of me… You see, I am 46 years old (47 next month) and because of how fit and healthy I stay, my physique really hasn’t changed very much in over a decade. So, I assumed any photo would do, because quite honestly I am in the best shape of my life NOW and even look better than those photos from a year or two ago…

The sinking feeling of dread overcame me as I realized that I could potentially be disqualified. And, on top of that, I was essentially cheating by not following the rules. My head pounded and my stomach was upset… This couldn’t be happening to me. Moments later, I wrote the editor of Men’s Health and explained my situation looking for a resolution. Well, fortunately for me, the editor was very cool and said simply “you are also permitted to enter once per day per email address throughout the entry period. So, you are welcome to submit another entry with current photos…”

Well… That settled it… I had to ditch my first place entry that had more than 2,200 votes already and start a new entry with current photos. So, I worked with my Aunt, Patty Abrams, to quickly take a few “today” photos of me. These photos were nowhere near as cool as my previous entry (me posing in a triathlon suit looking all heroic, me on Mount Rainier in -40 degree temperatures, and me on a 185 mile bicycle ride on the C&O canal towpath), but they are legit and follow the rules.

My new entry, was sitting there with zero votes in 113th place… Wow! Talk about a buzz kill. To add insult to injury, my original entry is still sitting there on top of the pack all pretty and perfectly happy. DANG!

Time to eat some humble pie… I spent a few minutes typing up a quick status update for my social media friends that had all helped escalate me to the top of the heap. I had to explain that our 2,200+ votes weren’t going to count toward this newest entry. I laughed at myself. Cheered them for their support. And then asked for their continued support. I wasn’t sure how folks would respond. I mean, I’ve already been SPAMing them with numerous requests to vote for me as a cover model… yada. I thought they might rebel. *insert upbeat music here* Something very special happened. They all stood behind me, and picked me up. From the nadir of this event, my friends and their friends all wiped the dirt off my face, picked me up, brushed the tears from my eyes, and gathered as a community to support me… Their brother.

After adding my second entry, folks got behind me and stormed the contest pouring in massive votes. Within one day I had gone from 113th place to 3rd place and had a solid 600 votes! Just when I thought all was cool, Men’s Health reached out again and said that they need to remove my second entry. So, they offered to put one of my new photos in the original entry and delete my second entry into the contest. Unfortunately they were not able to migrate my votes over. However, I still had the healthy amount of votes and a solid lead. Stuff happens, and I’m usually one that rolls with the punches. Besides, I can’t really complain considering my sizable lead.

You guys have all given me so much support during this entire process, and I am eternally grateful!

This is what it’s all about. I now know why I’ve entered this competition. It’s not some vain attempt to plaster myself on a magazine… It’s not about me. It is about us. It is about hemophiliacs. It is about HIV+ people, it is about average Joes who are beaten down ever day of their lives and continue picking themselves up and reporting for duty despite the odds stacked against them.

I have survived for more than 28 years as an HIV+ human being. I believe there is a reason why God spared me. I honestly believe that it is my duty to spread awareness and advocate for people who struggle to have their voices heard. Well… I am here. And, I felt you help pick me up. I feel your love. I feel your support and caring. I feel you. And, I love you. I will fight for this and every other opportunity that we have to scream at the world.

Together, you and I can and will put the first ever HIV+ hemophiliac on the cover of one of the most popular men’s magazines on the planet.

Please help support this cause by sharing my link, voting (you can vote daily), and spreading the word.
www.mhguysearch.com/entry/37/

I’m currently standing with a strong lead in first place…

Love to you all,
Vaughn Ripley

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Twenty Seven Years of Survival

Fasten your seat belts, folks. This article may have a “me-me-me” bend to it. And, that’s because it does. Most of my articles are focused on “us” (you and me). But, this one is my celebration of life. More specifically… A celebration of MY life.

Yay me!

Don’t say I didn’t warn ya…

This post is about My Surviving Anniversary – On January 3, 1987 I was diagnosed as being HIV+. Somewhere between mid 1985 and late 1987, I was transfused with a bad batch of blood. To quote Huey Lewis, “Sometimes, bad is bad.”

Officially, I have been diagnosed with HIV for 27 years. Unofficially, we don’t know when I got it, because I’m a mild hemophiliac and don’t have to get factor VIII or cryoprecipitate (clotting factor) on a regular basis. I have a letter from my doctor, which arrived days after Rock Hudson’s death, dated October 9, 1985, stating that I tested HTLV-III negative. The old test they used couldn’t detect the virus unless it had been in your body for more than three months… This means that I was infected somewhere between (circa) July, 1985 and October, 1987.

Semantics aside, suffice it to say that it’s been more than 27 and fewer than 30 years. Regardless, I have lived more than a quarter of a century past where my doctor predicted. Hoo-Rah!

Circa 1989 I got shingles and then a pneumonia. My CD4 levels were brutally low and when they dipped below 200 I was considered to have ARC (AIDS-related complex). Later, doctors said that if your levels dropped below 200 you had “full-blown” AIDS. I think they did this for medical insurance reasons, yada. Again I was told that my life would end in a very short time. By now, I was used to being told, “You ain’t got much time left, kid.”

Well… I didn’t die. Now I’m one of the longest surviving HIV+ people on the planet. Don’t get me wrong, there are others who have survived and lived as long as me (or even longer). However, when you think about the numbers… More than 25,000,000 have died and only a handful have survived this long… You get the picture.

My wife, Kristine, and I found out about a new and “safe” way for us to have children in circa 2002. It is called ICSI (you can read more about this in my in vitro article) in vitro fertilization. We made several attempts before finally being successful and having our little girl in early 2005. This was a milestone of epic proporations, because we always assumed we’d never have children.

Back in 2007 I celebrated my 40th birthday. The theme was, Forty Years of Life and Twenty Years of Survival. Kristine and I invited 105 of my closest friends and we rented out two adjoining hotel ballrooms. We hired a live band ( The Reagan Years are a 80’s throwback cover band, and they are AWESOME!) We had a catered dinner. And, we had an open bar. This was my knockdown, drag-out, bash! And, it was quite the celebration!

Then in 2010 I published my memoirs, Survivor: One Man’s Battle with HIV, Hemophilia, and Hepatitis C. This book details my battle and struggle to thrive.

I feel pretty good, considering I was told I had fewer than two years to live when I was 19 years old… My plan is to live another 30 years. I figure 77 years old is a cool number, so that’s the one I’m going with. However, if death comes knocking on my door sooner, it better have an army with it, because I’m a warrior. Death does not scare me. Not in the least. However, I won’t simply lie down. Count on that!

(:

In the meantime, I have some lofty goals. Here are a few of them (in no particular order):

  • Travel to Italy, Japan, Alaska, Hawaii, Fiji, and Australia with my family;
  • Compete in 100 triathlons;
  • Publish a dozen or more books;
  • Finish a full Ironman distance triathlon;
  • Travel the world inspiring diverse people;
  • Make a difference in the hemophilia community;
  • Teach my children wrong from right;
  • Figure out my spirituality and what I believe in;
  • Climb Mount Rainier (and maybe a few others);
  • Love my darling wife until my dying day.
  •  
    Thank you for all of the support, friendship, and downright caring that each and every one of you gives me. Hopefully this “me-me-me” article was fun for you guys too. Now let’s get back to the “us” articles!

    Love you all,
    Vaughn Foster Ripley

    Please comment by clicking “Leave a Comment.” And, if you dig, share this article! Also, please type your email address into the “Subscribe” box up top to get updates each time I post a new blog article.

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    Inspirational Passages and Quotes

    Quotes and passages can be incredibly uplifting and inspirational. I like to read inspirational quotes every day. I start my day by reading the following quotes… They instill my spirit with motivation and lift me to a higher level. Check ’em out, and let me know what you think!

    “Come not between the dragon and his wrath.”
    -William Shakespeare / King Lear, act I, scene 1

    “Dream as if you’ll live forever. Live as if you’ll die today.”
    -James Dean

    “Adventure is worthwhile in itself.”
    -Amelia Earhart

    “The world is a dangerous place, not because of those who do evil, but because of those who look on and do nothing.”
    -Albert Einstein

    “Decide whether or not the goal is worth the risks involved. If it is, stop worrying.”
    -Amelia Earhart

    “Remember: Life is short, break the rules”
    -James Dean

    “Our doubts are traitors, and make us lose the good we oft might win by fearing to attempt.”
    -William Shakespeare / Measure by Measure, act I, scene 4

    “The most effective way to do it, is to do it.”
    -Amelia Earhart

    “Those who would give up essential liberty, to purchase a little temporary safety, deserve neither liberty nor safety.”
    -Benjamin Franklin

    “Never bend your head. Always hold it high. Look the world right in the eye.”
    -Helen Keller

    “Excellence sucks!”
    -Tony Robbins

    “There are three things extremely hard: steel, a diamond, and to know one’s self.”
    -Benjamin Franklin

    “Great minds discuss ideas. Average minds discuss events. Small minds discuss people.”
    -Eleanor Roosevelt

    “Temet Nosce. It means, know thyself.”
    -the Oracle

    “Avoiding danger is no safer in the long run than outright exposure. The fearful are caught as often as the bold.”
    -Helen Keller

    “It is never too late to be what you might have been.”
    -George Eliot

    “Life’s tragedy is that we get old too soon and wise too late.”
    -Benjamin Franklin

    “Nobody can be successful unless he loves his work.”
    -David Sarnoff

    “Try not. Do, or do not. There is no try.”
    -Yoda

    “All we have to decide is what to do with the time that is given us.”
    -Gandalf the Grey

    “Never interrupt someone doing something you said couldn’t be done.”
    -Amelia Earhart

    “Let us step out into the night and pursue that flighty temptress, adventure.”
    -Albus Dumbledor (care of J. K. Rowling)

    I would be remiss if I didn’t include some of my own personal quotes… Enjoy!

    “Dum spiro somnium”
    -Vaughn Ripley

    “We’re all going through something… The trick is to go through it anyway!”
    -Vaughn Ripley

    “Life has its ups and downs… Ride the downs and climb the ups!”
    -Vaughn Ripley

    “Chivalry is not just a fancy word with a neat meaning… It’s a way of life.”
    -Vaughn Ripley

    “Life throws punches. It’s not about punching back… It’s about taking ’em, and still standing.”
    -Vaughn Ripley

    Do you have a favorite quote or passage? Please share and chime-in!

    Hoping this inspired or motivated you!

    -Vaughn

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    Stalk Me

    It may sound creepy, but I’d love for you to stalk me! Seriously! I’m always looking for new virtual connections and friends. In this information technology age I am living life on the bleeding edge. I have countless social media outlets and memberships. Today I will list many of them and request that you click on each and connect with me! Please?

    Without further ado, click away!

    Stalk Me Online

    My Online Blogs and Sites

    To find out more about me, read my article: Allow Myself to Introduce Myself.

    Also checkout my About page.

    Better yet, read my memoir, Survivor: One Man’s Battle with HIV, Hemophilia, and Hepatitis C.

    Enjoy your stay here, and please remember to subscribe to our newsletter and share this site URL with your friends!

    Please comment by clicking “Leave a Comment.” And, if you dig, share this article! Also, please type your email address into the “Subscribe” box up top to get updates each time I post a new blog article.

    You can rest assured that we will never SPAM your email account, and it’s only used to send the latest articles.

    Allow Myself to Introduce Myself

    You probably wonder who this guy, Vaughn Foster Ripley, is… Why he’s started the Healthy Wealthy Tribe… And, why he’s (yes I’m talking about myself in the third person) qualified to inspire you… I’ll use this article as an introduction to my inner-being, and a pathway into my crazy psyche.

    An Aries baby, I was born on April 12 in 1967. Yes… that was a long time ago! I was born with a rare bleeding disorder called hemophilia. I’m a type-A hemophiliac, which means that my Factor VIII (8) levels are low. My Factor levels fluctuate (this is very rare among easy bleeders) and my level is normally mild with occasional swings into moderate. My levels have never been severe, but I know a bunch of severe hemophiliacs.

    Suffice it to say that I spent much of my childhood time in the Emergency Room getting Factor VIII to curb bleeding episodes. I believe that my addiction to adrenaline and extreme sports is not only genetic, but directly related to the fact that my parents, siblings, friends, doctors, and teachers all kept me protected and warned me to avoid any contact sports and dangerous activities.

    For most of my childhood, I listened… Then when I hit about thirteen I decided to follow my own rules. So, I started playing football in the neighborhood. We also played Murder the Man with the Ball. Soccer. Skateboarding. BMX biking. I did most of these things without my parents knowledge. However, my hematologist was no dummy and he knew I was ramping-up the adrenaline games. He tried to counsel me, but I wouldn’t listen. My need for excitement grew with each day!

    Because of my dangerous sports and hobbies, I started having more bleeds and joint issues. I was in the ER at least twice per week of my entire teenage life. This is the main reason why my knees, ankles, and hips are always so sore.

    Then, in 1986 (or earlier), I contracted HIV from a bad blood transfusion. My family doctor called my parents and me into his office and told us that I had fewer than two years to live. I was nineteen years old and devastated. I spiraled into a deadly dark place and started drinking and doing drugs. I was heading for a short life in multiple directions. After two years of depression and drug abuse I picked myself up and realized that I wasn’t dead yet. With the help of my wife (then girlfriend), Kristine, I was able to defeat the drug addictions and straighten my life out.

    A few years later, Kristine and I were married. I had found a career path doing my passion of computers and technology, and I started working my way up the corporate ladder.

    Circa 2001 I found out I had Hepatitis C and probably had it for most of my life (again from tainted blood). This was disheartening (especially considering all of the drinking I had done), but not the end of the world, or my life. Right around this time, a new medicine regimen was introduced in America that had a 50/50 chance of curing Hepatitis C. The bad news was that the medicine caused severe flu-like symptoms and extreme weakness during the entire procedure; which takes ten months to complete! I didn’t see any options, except doing it.

    I got on the program and literally suffered through the ten months feeling like I was dying. It was the second darkest nadir of my life (finding out I was HIV+ was numero uno). Sometimes I could not even get out of bed, but I managed to make it through. After I finished the results came back as it working for me. I no longer had Hepatitis C! Finally, a deadly disease that I had acquired was beaten! I was elated (to say the least)!!!

    Kristine and I decided to have children. A new form of in vitro fertilization, called ICSI was introduced as a viable option for serodiscordant couples (where one person is HIV+ and the partner isn’t). We jumped on the bandwagon, and after five tries we were able to have two healthy children! You can read more about our pregnancy adventure here: healthywealthytribe.com/creating-life-in-a-laboratory.

    Recently, I published my autobiography in a memoirs format. Survivor: One Man’s Battle with HIV, Hemophilia, and Hepatitis C; which details my life story and the crazy life I’ve led. This book started as a journal and legacy that I could leave behind for my children and quickly turned into a full-blown book.

    After completing my memoir, I realized that I was a writer at heart and started on my first piece of fiction, a cyberthriller titled, Decrypted. This is actually the first of a dozen or so books in a series about a female hacker named, Jessica Carter. Recently I got a literary agent for representation and I’m hopeful to publish my first (of many) fictional books in the near future.

    Throughout my life, I’ve done many adrenaline-packed adventures including: rock climbing, mountaineering, mountain biking, and so on. One thing that has stuck with me is motorcycle riding. I spent many years racing on the track and riding crotch rockets:
    580_busas

    Dan, Chris, Vaughn, and Ben about to go out on an adventure.

    After my daughter, Trinity, was born, I decided to hang up my racing boots. However, I still love riding and do so on a more laid-back Harley Davidson.

    In more recent years, I’ve started giving inspirational speeches and talking to groups about improving and making the best of life. This belief has led to my inspiration blog posting. Before I started the Healthy Wealthy Tribe, I did regular posts on my first blog, hivlongevity.com. This blog was primarily a resource for people to see how I’ve managed to be one of the longest surviving HIV+ people in the universe.

    Drop by my About Page for more details.

    That’s me in a nutshell. If you want even more gory details, feel free to get my autobiography:
    Survivor: One Man’s Battle with HIV, Hemophilia, and Hepatitis C


    I hope this article helped to shed a little light on me, and gave you a touch of inspiration.

    Love you all,
    Vaughn Foster Ripley

    Please comment by clicking “Leave a Comment.” And, if you dig, share this article! Also, please type your email address into the “Subscribe” box up top to get updates each time I post a new blog article.

    You can rest assured that we will never SPAM your email account, and it’s only used to send the latest articles.