The Providence Journal has a moving obituary today on my uncle Alvan Fisher.
“Dr. Alvan E. Fisher, who in 1983 treated the first Rhode Islander diagnosed with AIDS and went on to become a pioneer in the treatment of people with the disease, died Friday of renal cancer in his California home,” the story by the Journal’s Thomas Mooney reads. It quotes Alvan’s colleague and friend Steve Sepe.
“We were seeing lots and lots of people with dreaded illnesses who were dying and we didn’t know what it was,” recalled Sepe. “It was like fighting in the trenches and Al cared very deeply for his patients.”
In 2002, he was awarded with AIDS Project Rhode Island’s “Red Ribbon Award,” which will be renamed in his honor.
In Judaism, there is a tradition called “tikkun olam,” to repair the world. Alvan was by no means religious. But he lived that tradition with every fiber of his blessed soul.
Here’s the donation information:
AIDS Project Rhode Island
232 West Exchange St.
Providence, RI 02903
The Dean R. O’Neill Renal Cell Cancer Research Fund
c/o Foundation for the NIH
One Cloister Court
Bethesda, MD 20814-1460