“If I could walk, I would love to do this.”

Those were the words spoken by Josh Torres’ mother — who has multiple sclerosis and is now in a wheelchair — that inspired him to sign up for his first-ever AIDS/LifeCycle bike ride earlier this year.

Based in San Jose, Calif., Torres, a division director for OfficeTeam, learned about the ride five years ago but never imagined being a participant. After all, he’s not a cyclist, and the ride is 545 miles long, from San Francisco to Los Angeles. But after thinking about everything his mother had been through, Torres was motivated to participate. He dedicated his effort to his mother and told her, “We’re doing it together.”

Torres also raised money in honor of a friend who was diagnosed with HIV a few years ago. He noted that there is still a lack of awareness and information about HIV and AIDS despite the progress that has been made in treatment and prevention.

“We’re very proud of Josh,” said regional manager Ireneo Mendoza. “He does a lot for the LGBTQ community. He really likes working here, too. I know he feels supported.”

Inclusion is an issue our company cares a lot about, Mendoza pointed out. Robert Half was recently named in the Best Places to Work for LGBTQ Equality by the Human Rights Campaign Foundation. (Read more about Robert Half’s commitment to diversity and inclusion.)

Torres worked hard to prepare for the ride and is thankful for the considerable support he received from colleagues, who donated more than $3,000 to the cause.

To prepare for the ride, Torres had to adjust his diet, as well as ensure he drank enough water daily and got the correct amount of vitamins. As for workouts, he rode his bike 30 miles during the weekdays and 60 miles on weekends, while also weight training daily. During the actual ride in June, he rode 80 to 100 miles a day.

“Preparing for an event like the AIDS/LifeCycle took months of hard work, but that doesn’t mean it wasn’t fun, too,” he said. “I changed my lifestyle, but I had a great time while doing it.”

Torres is proud of the way his colleagues at Robert Half and others in his social circle turned up to support his ride and to increase awareness around HIV and AIDS.

“When all members of our community pull together for a united cause, we have unlimited power,” he said. “Together, we really can save lives.”

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