A New Life And A New Challenge
Already, Galindo had signed on with the Tom Collins Campbell's Soup Tour of World Figure Skating Champions, for $200,000—more money than he'd ever seen. He also signed deals for his autobiography, a made-for-TV movie, and exhibitions, including the Champions on Ice. For the first time in his life, money was not an issue. Wisely, he let Laura handle much of the finances. From a young age family members and friends, even Mrs. Yamaguchi for a while, had handled Galindo's practical affairs while he focused on skating. Now that he was making money, he was determined not to blow it all, although he did buy presents for friends and family, including a new set of furniture for his mother—who declined his offer to buy her a house.
For the next few years, Galindo was able to concentrate on writing his autobiography, skating professionally, and enjoying his newfound fame and fortune. Then in early 2000 came news that would once again challenge his faith in the future. Skating a warm-up routine, he suddenly found himself so short of breath that he had to leave the ice. In his heart, he knew that something serious was happening, but he put off going to the doctor. When his "bronchitis" failed to clear up, he finally sought medical treatment, and found out that he was HIV-positive.
After the initial shock, as memories of George's final days came flooding into his mind, Galindo once again rose to meet the crisis. He went public with the news of his diagnosis, and with his invaluable sister's encouragement, he began to treat the disease aggressively, through anti-retroviral therapy. He seems to be doing well and continues to skate for the Tom Collins Champions on Ice, while doing his best to raise public awareness of AIDS, particularly for those at greatest risk. One thing is certain: Galindo is not giving up. As his agent, Michael Rosenberg, once described his entire career in USA Today, "Rudy Galindo is the [best example] of never, ever, ever quit."