Why You Should Dine Out for Life: Garrod McFadden

Mr. Garrod McFadden is helping kick off our annual series, “Dine Out for My Life,” which features a different local who has been affected by HIV/AIDS every day between now and Dining Out for Life (DOFL), on April 24th.

My name is … Garrod McFadden

What’s your Philly connection?
I have lived here for seven years. I grew up in Rochester N.Y., went to undergrad at SUNY Cortland in Cortland N.Y., and decided that Philadelphia was the place I wanted to pursue my Masters in social work, and continue a prominent career in this field

What do you do for work? 
I work at Hahnemann University Hospital as a social worker primarily providing essential discharging planning services for critical intensive cardiac patients, and post-surgical cardiac patients.

How has HIV/AIDS affected your life?
In a positive way. I graduated from SUNY and started working with HIV+ infants and children under the age 10 years old as a child case manager in Rochester N.Y. for over 10 years ago. Seeing the progress and delight on the faces of the parents and children over the positive change in their lives overtime propelled me to move forward in becoming a community advocate. Because of this experience, I am still a community advocate and have worked for HIV/AIDS organizations such as ActionAIDS in the past.

The biggest thing I have learned from my experience with HIV/AIDS is …
How impactful one’s life is with living with this disease. I have learned that it is so important to teach acceptance, because HIV+ people are human beings, too, and the impact of this disease on “everyone’s” lives is no different from any other disease.

Have a Dining Out for Life restaurant recommendation?
I recommend Bistro Romano, because from moment I arrived last April for Dining out for Life, the maître d’, the host, the manager, the waiter, and the Dining Out For Life ambassador made my entire experience a lasting memory with warmth and professionalism. Since then, I’ve been back and experienced the same great quality.

In three words, describe the perfect dining out experience …
Warm, professional, and fun.

This year’s edition of DOFL comprises 150 restaurants and a host of food trucks that will donate 33 percent of that day’s earnings to local HIV-fighting organization, ActionAIDSFor more info on participating restaurants and to make reservations, go to diningoutforlife.com/philadelphia.