Ryan White was born in Kokomo, Indiana in 1971. A hemophiliac, Ryan regularly needed injections of blood products to survive. In 1985 at the age of 13, it was discovered that Ryan contracted the AIDS virus sometime during the previous year from tainted blood. His case got national attention when his school expelled him when they learned about his disease. Not wanting to lie down and die that easily, Ryan and his parents took the school to court where they won the right for him to return to class. As a result of Ryan's courage and outspokeness to take on his own school board, be became one of the USA's most visible spokesperson on the AIDS crisis. During 1985-1989 he appeared at schools and AIDS fundraisers throught the country and gave moving testimony before the President's Commission on AIDS. He was befriended by many celebrities including Michael Jackson, Elton John, Phil Donahue and Elizabeth Taylor, AIDS activists themselves. Despite overwhelming international attention, Ryan never lost his sense of priorites with his schoolwork or life in general. AIDS finally claimed Ryan's life on April 8, 1990 at the age of 18.