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AIDS Victim Runs to Beat the Odds : More Are Showing a Positive Approach to the Disease

November 14, 1985|LYNN SIMROSS | Times Staff Writer

"I began my studies at the Church of Religious Science in New York City many years ago," Hay explained. "It's a metaphysical healing church. I became a licensed practictioner and a minister. I have since studied many other modalities. When they said I had cancer, I realized I was being given the opportunity to practice on myself what I had been trying to teach other people. I worked with mental practitioners and a nutritionist and on myself. Within six months I had no more cancer and the doctors confirmed it."

"There is no time to lie anymore," said Stephen Stucker, an actor, musician and comedian who has had AIDS for five years. "I'm way over the time limit at more than five years. As far as I'm concerned my life is an open book. I have no secrets. I'll get on TV and talk about it.

"But this five years have been so hard on my friends and family. My parents are beautiful, and my sister, too. They have been so supportive and they don't give up. But they suffer twice as much. They don't know what to do because they're afraid."

Stucker, who was diagnosed as having "every kind of cancer symptom in 1979" believes he actually had AIDS then, but no one knew what it was. "I had blood transfusions in San Francisco when I had an appendectomy. Then, when I was living in New York, it was a very fast life. The parties, the needles. I was the fool that did that. I was using a lot of drugs. I was sick a long time."

Then Stucker went to a doctor in New York for tests. He remembers the exact date his physician called to tell him he had Kaposi's sarcoma. "It was 10 after 4 on July 12, 1984, when the actual diagnosis of AIDS and Kaposi's came. Since then I've had Kaposi's and then Pneumocystis twice. I'm still here and I refuse to give up. You can't just roll over and quit."

Stucker, 36, has been treated by Dr. Nathan Green at Valley Presbyterian Hospital and also by Dr. Robert Brooks. He has had Interferon, as well as radiation. He also has changed his diet, stopped eating red meat, takes vitamins and quit smoking.

He goes to the AIDS seminars sponsored by Brooks, and to meetings with Hay. He meets regularly with Nassaney, Proctor, Andy Davi and Bob Rogosuch, all longtime AIDS patients.

Rogosuch, who holds the meetings each Sunday at his home, has had AIDS for three years; Davi contracted AIDS in September, 1983, two months after his late roommate, Bill Bader, died of AIDS that July.

"I can't do a normal job," said Stucker. "But I can play my music and entertain people. Sometimes I have to take a day and just rest. AIDS is a dangerous disease and you have to take care of yourself."

Stucker currently is writing a pilot for a TV show and writes songs for Brooks' AIDS Update seminars.

"People need to do whatever they can, chant, read the Psalms, meditate to reach that voice inside and get in touch with it. Then they'll know what to do. I do believe we have control over our lives. You take it one day at a time. You find that higher force that's in all of us, and you can find that force to help us heal ourselves.

"It's time that people knew that there are people who have had this as long as I have," Stucker added. "Yes, I have lost 40 friends now (to AIDS). There are three people a day dying in New York, San Francisco and L.A. But you've got look look at the positive side. It doesn't kill everybody. You've got to live. Life is for the living. Let's hear some good news."

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