The Phil Simon Clinic


January 2014:
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Phil Simon

who was phil simon?

When Phil Simon died of AIDS on March 23, 1995, he left behind a wife, a son, two daughters, two grandsons he would never have the chance to meet, and a large extended family and circle of friends.

Born on January 16, 1937, Phil was outgoing and gregarious, a collector of people. He embraced life and had a uncanny way of making friends feel like family and acquaintances feel like friends. His spirit was big and anchored by his generosity—mi casa es su casa, he used to say.

After the initial shock of his HIV diagnosis, Phil turned his attention to those less fortunate, including those who were sick, and poor, and alone. AIDS is the great equalizer. It does not discriminate—Phil understood this long before it became common knowledge.

Through one of the many support groups he frequented, Phil met a man much like himself in age and upbringing, but who was very much alone. Having watched so many of his friends die of complications from AIDS, this man was alone and without hope. But Phil would not accept this. He befriended this man, calling him daily, bringing him into his own close circle of family and friends, sharing words of encouragement and hope. Because Phil was weak from his own illness, he could do little more than be there for this one man.

In a small way, this story is just one example of how Phil chose to live his life. Living as a person with AIDS did not make Phil Simon who he was. Who he was made it possible for him to live with AIDS and with dignity and to continue to touch the lives of those around him.

The Phil Simon Clinic recognizes a man who truly believed in the spirit of humanity. He valued people above all else. He was not a wealthy man, nor a poor one. He was an average man with a good heart. And his heart ached with the knowledge of how AIDS is impacting our lives.

—Kristen Spina, Phil’s daughter