Our Founder

“My life has been ever changed in overcoming social degradation and humiliation of jails, institutions, and death along with the stigma of being HIV positive. I have been living with HIV for over 25 years. Despite everything, I have been afforded grace to Rise Against All Odds. I am Brenda Flowers-Dalley, the Founder of Rising Against All Odds, a community-focused organization right here in Deland, FL. I hold heartfelt commitments to justice, equal access, and equity in health, health care, education, employment, income, housing, and overall in everyday matters that just make life better.”

Brenda Flowers has lived with HIV for 10 years now. For most of that time, she kept the diagnosis to herself. She says she wanted to avoid that “certain look,” and she dreaded having her life defined solely by the fact she had the virus that causes AIDS. She was ashamed. And she was certain that she would be shunned by everyone who knew about her diagnosis.

Flowers decided to change her attitude — and her life — while she was sitting in Boone County

Jail on a drug charge. She made a commitment to God to speak publicly about her disease in order to prevent people from making the same mistakes she did. True to her vow, Flowers became an HIV educator for the American Red Cross in 2003. She has shared her story at many places in Columbia, with a strength she says comes from her faith.

Read more here…

AIDS United recognizes Brenda Flowers with the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation – AIDS United Award for Health Equity