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Robert Rygor's letter to ACT UP



Robert Rygor's letter to ACT UP


The handwritten draft of Robert Rygor's letter to Read It To ACT UP (RITA), the internal newsletter of the AIDS Coalition to Unleash Power. The letter was written from St. Vincent's Hospital, where he was undergoing treatment for AIDS. He passed away five days afterward.


AIDS (Disease)--Treatment
ACT UP New York (Organization)
Rygor, Robert


Rygor, Robert




Queens College Department of Special Collections and Archives (New York, N.Y.)



Date Created



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Spatial Coverage

St. Vincent's Hospital and Medical Center of New York


I miss you. I love you. And more than anything else in the world, I wish I could be at tonight's meeting. I am so brokenhearted and cry every time I think of you.
I have been one of your Workspace Managers for two years, along with Walt Wilder whom I fiercely love. I loved every moment of it. It has brought so much happiness and it was such a great honor to play this role.
Now I would like to serve you as one of your Treasurers, along with Joe Chiplock and Eric Minton. I have as Workspace Manager received the bills and have for some time now followed our finances.
This is what keeps me fighting to get better. I want to be with you again. I'm hoping to win a horrific battle with cryptosporidiosis and KS which is spreading to my back and face. It was a big mistake to stop my chemotherapy so many months ago, thinking St. Vincent's was getting Doxil - it still may, but I'm not waiting any longer. I'm going back on traditional chemo - Adriamycin, Bleomycin and Vincristine - that stuff will likely halt the KS progression. Another big problem is that I can't walk because I can't straighten out my legs - a result of massive KS in my legs, and a tightening of my tendons. Up until November I could walk a little, get on my bike and sit with Allen Hubby and Allen Payne. After a month of radiation, my right foot started "weeping" this orange/yellow liquid - especially in a vertical position. I lost my appetite for food, couldn't get out of bed - lost tons of weight and was constantly messing my bed.
On December 28 my doctor whom I love (Dr. Kazarus) got me a room at St. Vincent's. My legs are getting whirlpool therapy to loosen the dead tissue, followed by gradual debredment and physical therapy. During the PT sessions I can come within degrees of getting them straight, and tomorrow, using parallel bars, they are going to try to get me to walk! As I write this, I am getting blood transfusions through my right arm, and TPN (total parenteral vertiction) through my left. We are doubling the medication (Hernatin and others) to end the diarrhea and Todd is 90% confident of beating it. There is an excellent probability that tomorrow, I will be getting a private room which will help get me healthier and happier. If I get a private room I will feel more comfortable having ACT UP members over.
By the end of January I hope to be out of here with home care assistants, which, please God, will allow me to come back to ACT UP and work on the finances.
That day I will feel more powerful than a locomotive and able to leap tall buildings in a single bound. I will be back with my friends I love and can't wait to hold you in my arms.

Robert Rygor

P.S. Thanks for keeping me alive. ACT UP! FIGHT BACK! FIGHT AIDS!

Original Format

10 x 7.5 inches (254 x 191 mm)



Rygor, Robert, “Robert Rygor's letter to ACT UP,” Queens College Civil Rights Archives, accessed May 17, 2022, http://archives.qc.cuny.edu/civilrights/items/show/301.