Having multiple heart surgeries at 3 months old, living from pacemaker to pacemaker, and thus lacking the strength and stamina to play with the “healthy” kids while growing up is enough for the average person to turn a cold shoulder to the world. But Derek Canas is not average, and while already living a life stacked against the odds of normalcy and survival, at the age of 16 it was discovered that during one of his blood transfusions as a 3 month old baby Derek contracted AIDS.
During his journey through the darkness of coping with his new AIDS diagnosis, Derek found a savior in his alter ego, DJ D-Rek. D-Rek showed up with the confidence and fighting spirit that Derek was lacking and saved his life. At the time of our conversation with Derek, he has created two AIDS foundations, written a book, lead toy drives for children’s hospitals, and most notable is his development of an undying inner strength with the ability to master both his body and mind. Derek’s bright outlook, vivid imagination, and intense tenacity has led to a current AIDS status of “undetectable”.
How to connect with Derek: