Ryan Lewis Starts Nonprofit With Macklemore After Revealing His Mother Is HIV-Positive

Niki Cruz - Author
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Apr. 23 2014, Updated 9:37 a.m. ET

Huge announcement coming out of the Macklemore & Ryan Lewis camp today. According to several reports, Ryan Lewis, the quiet producer, musician and DJ who works with rap star Macklemore has revealed that his mother is HIV-positive.

The naturally shy artist, who has been working with Macklemore since 2006 via a Myspace interaction, revealed a personal battle that’s close to his heart. The musician shared his very personal story with all of his followers on Twitter. At the time he posted a photo of his mother Julie Lewis, with a link urging people to donate to the 30/30 project.

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Ryan Lewis and Macklemore founded the 30/30 project, which is a nonprofit that’s meant to raise money for affordable healthcare across the globe. The 30/30 project already has an official Facebook page as well as a personal message from Lewis stating:

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“In 1984, my mom gave birth to my older sister, Teresa. Due to a complicated delivery, she needed a blood transfusion and at that moment, my mom had HIV+ blood put into her body. When she was finally diagnosed, she was given only a few years to live. By that time, she had already given birth to my sister Laura and me. We each had a 25% chance of being born HIV+, but we were extremely fortunate (today, the risk of a mother passing HIV to her baby is 2% or less if she is taking medication). Thanks to advanced medicine and healthcare available here in the U.S., my mom has lived despite her odds.”

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The letter goes on stating that Lewis wants to honor his mother’s survival of her 30 plus years since she was diagnosed with HIV. The two stars decided to partner with Construction for Change to carry out their official plans. In his statement the producer writes that he and Macklemore want to “give hope to women and families in other parts of the world who lack access to quality, affordable healthcare.”

The original goal was to raise $100,00 to build a health care center in Malawi. The project was officially launched on Indiegogo yesterday and since the rapping duo’s announcement they have already reached 29 percent of their goal by raising over $29,000. Fundraising sites like Kickstarter and Indiegogo have found that miraculous donations happen when someone is given incentives to donate.

Some of the incentives include a 10-Day trip to Kenya for $50,000, sold out tickets to Macklemore & Ryan Lewis’ show with VIP for $650, a signed Vinyl of the Grammy winning album “Heist” for $425, and a signed set list by the two artists for $300.

So far since the duo made their way to the scene they have managed to win four Grammys, including Best New Artist for their single “Same Love” which grabbed headlines when gay couples were married during the live performance at the Grammys.

To donate to Ryan Lewis’ 30/30 project click here.

[Image Credit: Der Robert via photopincc]

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