Connect with us

Local News

Children’s Museum of Indianapolis shares story of AIDS advocate, Kokomo native Ryan White



Indianapolis, Indiana – The AIDS epidemic and its effects on a small Indiana town and beyond are the subject of a brave boy’s narrative being told by the Children’s Museum of Indianapolis.

Born in Kokomo in December 1971, Ryan White was diagnosed with AIDS at the age of 13 following a blood transfusion.

He experienced a great deal of AIDS-related prejudice from his community after receiving his diagnosis, but he raised awareness of the disease by speaking out against stigma and false information. Most notably, he served as motivation for him to pursue his education.

According to AJ Morrison of the Children’s Museum of Indianapolis, Ryan’s tale is especially special because of its regional significance.

“They were in Kokomo and then moved to Cicero. He went to Hamilton Heights High School, where he was welcomed by the students there,” he said.

A section of Ryan’s bedroom is on display in the museum. The tale of Ryan’s battle with AIDS, his struggle to go to school, and his remarkable achievements before to his death in April 1990 are all told through the more than 500 objects from his life.

“It just helps kids realize that anybody can really make a difference, and in Ryan’s case, standing up and speaking out against bullying and HIV/Aids,” Morrison said.

Ryan’s mother, Jeanne White Ginder, and sister, Andrea White, held a number of talks at the museum in addition to the exhibit.

The talk on Sunday is scheduled to take place in Ryan’s bedroom and will go from noon to two p.m. Audience members will have the opportunity to hear personal accounts of how Ryan’s bravery affected their family and other places throughout Indiana.

There will be a formal presentation from 2:00 to 2:45 p.m. Leaders of the museum emphasize that some of the subjects covered in the talks on Ryan can be challenging for younger kids.

Ryan’s room and the exhibit will be on display at The Power of Children: Making a Difference, which is located on level 3 of the museum.