WOCHA, Women of Color Health Awareness, is dedicated to the memory of Verna, who was the mother of two little girls, and who died of AIDS.
John Jerome was fortunate to have Verna's friendship in the months before her death, while he was visiting St. Vincent's Hospital, to care for his boyfriend Jamie, who also died of AIDS.
Before Verna died, John promised her he would do what he could to help other people, in particular, women of color, who are dealing with this illness, as well as other major health issues often affecting women of color, such as Hepatitis C, drug abuse and domestic abuse.
When John spent time in prison he counseled prisoners with HIV and Hepatitis C and gained the experience he needed to be able to take on this challenge.
He is currently on a scholarship at Lehman College, studying social work, and hopes that his efforts on behalf of women of color, as well as any other individuals struggling with these issues, will be of some service to the community.