The Timothy Ray Brown “The Berlin Patient” Memorial Campaign consortium has announced Friday, May 7, 2021 as the date for the dedication ceremony of a memorial bench and plaque in The Wellness Park, located at the corner of Via Miraleste and Tachevah Road in Palm Springs, CA. The dedication ceremony will be held at 12 noon in The Wellness Park near the meditation circle and labyrinth and is open to the public.
Timothy Ray Brown was an American considered to be the first person cured of HIV/AIDS. Brown was diagnosed with HIV while studying abroad in Berlin, Germany in 1995, and later developed acute myeloid leukemia. Brown underwent two stem cell transplants and discontinued his HIV therapy. By the end of 2007, it appeared that the treatment worked – both for his HIV and for his cancer. Brown was called “The Berlin Patient” at the 2008 Conference on Retroviruses and Opportunistic Infections, where his HIV cure was first announced, and after that he dedicated his life to supporting research to search for a cure for HIV. Brown’s leukemia recently returned, and he passed away on September 29, 2020.
To memorialize Timothy Ray Brown’s life and journey, a consortium of HIV/AIDS organizations collaborated to launch the Timothy Ray Brown “The Berlin Patient” Memorial Campaign. The Campaign raised funds to dedicate a memorial boulder with a touching inscription in the National AIDS Memorial Grove in San Francisco and a memorial bench and plaque in The Wellness Park adjacent to the Desert Regional Medical Center in Palm Springs. The National AIDS Memorial Grove memorial boulder dedication ceremony event is expected to be held this fall in San Francisco.
The coordinating consortium consists of the National AIDS Memorial, Let’s Kick A.S.S. (AIDS Survivors Syndrome) Palm Springs (LKAPS), amfAR-The Foundation for AIDS Research, Desert Healthcare District & Foundation, HIV + AIDS Research Project-Palm Springs (HARP-PS), and Until There’s A Cure Foundation.
The consortium collaborated with Tim Hoeffgen, Brown’s life partner, in the effort. “I am so happy that the HIV community and family and friends have joined together to memorialize Timothy Brown’s activism and legacy at the AIDS Memorial Grove in San Francisco and The Wellness Park in Palm Springs. Having these special places to remember and meditate on Timothy’s life is what I envisioned, and I am extremely grateful for this outpouring of support,” stated Hoeffgen.
Hoeffgen will be attending the dedication ceremony along with representatives from the Desert Healthcare District & Foundation, HARP-PS, LKAPS and the Timothy Ray Brown Memorial Campaign.
The Wellness Park, along with its interactive gardens, is an integral part of the Desert Healthcare District & Foundation’s commitment to health promotion and community collaboration and partnerships designed to improve the health and quality of life for all District residents. The five-acre park is adjacent to Desert Regional Medical Center and provides a rich opportunity for patients, their visiting families and friends, staff, and residents to exercise, unwind, relax, and meditate. The Wellness Park offers a quarter-mile walking/jogging loop with drinking fountains and benches at regular intervals, five exercise/fitness stations, and various gardens – meditation, memorial, and a healing and fragrance garden with a bubbling fountain.