Ruth Coker Burks and Kevin Carr O’Leary
Ruth Coker Burks was a young single mom in Hot Springs, Arkansas who cared for people with AIDS when no one else would in the 1980s and 1990s. With no medical background, Ruth single-handedly created a network of care, and saw to the final resting places of roughly a thousand men abandoned by families and neglected by medical professionals. For 30 years, Ruth has been an advocate for the LGBTQ community. She currently resides in Northwest Arkansas.
In the summer of 1997, Kevin Carr O’Leary was 21 and a recent graduate of Wesleyan University when he started work at Poz, a landmark magazine about living with HIV. He has since co-written five New York Times non-fiction best sellers, including Strength in Stillness with Transcendental Meditation instructor Bob Roth, This Is Me with actress Chrissy Metz, and Open Book with singer Jessica Simpson. He lives in Brooklyn with his husband and two children.