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Surrounded by family, recently released Florida prison inmate Betsie Gallardo dies of cancer

Betsie Gallardo, a Haitian-born, HIV-positive Florida prison inmate recently released after being diagnosed with terminal cancer, died Monday surrounded by her family.

An e-mail sent by Gallardo's adoptive mother to AIDS activists Monday night:

This morning at about 10:00am, Betsie Gallardo Bussert passed away. She was surrounded by her parents and her siblings, and the room was simply filled with love. Over the past few weeks Betsie was able to visit with family and friends, walk on the beach, go out to a movie, go shopping, and attend church. She was free and happy and she was blessed in a thousand ways. When the time finally came she was at peace and out of pain. We held her hands and prayed with her up until the last.

A memorial Mass will be held at St. Agnes Church, Nashville Indiana, on Sunday February 6th at 2:00pm. In lieu of flowers, please offer gifts directly to either of the two hospice services that provided so much care to Betsie and our family. Their contact information can be found below.

Sincerely,

Jessica Bussert

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