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Indiana Aids Victim Honored 20 Years After Death

Last updated on Friday, April 9, 2010

(UNDATED) - 20 years ago Thursday, a central Indiana teenager who reshaped America’s attitude toward aids lost his battle with the disease.

Ryan White shot to national attention in 1985 when he contracted aids from a blood transfusion, and Howard County's Western School Corporation barred him from attending class.

Charley Vaughan, the Lafayette attorney who represented Ryan in the ensuing nine-month legal battle, remembers Ryan as "wise beyond his years."

Vaughan says Ryan forged genuine friendships with Elton John and Michael Jackson.

He says Elton canceled a concert to be with the White family when Ryan was dying.

The singer not only performed at, but also paid for the 18-year-old's funeral.

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