I'm a 27 year survivor of HIV. I've been widowed since the early 90′s when my husband died of AIDS. I have a degree in Dramatic Studies and a Teaching Certificate which I used to teach high school in both French and English. I've been a single mother raising my 3 children to productive adulthood. I've been on Palliative Care for over 2 years now; but I'm still vertical, albeit wobbly in the legs. I live in the prairies, in a city called Winnipeg, in the province of Manitoba. It gets nice and cold here in the winters, but our summers and lakes are glorious. I am French-Canadian and my family has been very supportive of my condition and I've grown to learn just who my friends actually are. Though I was raised in the Catholic faith, I lean toward the eastern philosophy of living and to the Buddha.
Why Celina wants to be a part of A Girl Like Me: Because "girls like me" were ghosts when I was diagnosed in the 1980′s. I intend to change that , for myself, and especially for our younger generation of newly diagnosed women, and most of all for all our children. They need models to reassure them that we did not just sit down and "take it". They need to know how we faced our fears, how we fought the stigma and refused to shut ourselves in isolation.