Cara Castronuova became a household name this year when she was hired as a new trainer on The Biggest Loser. Her boxing techniques and motivational speaking helped contestants improve their physical and mental health and well-being. Now she’s hoping to use her talents and image to raise money for the L.A. Gay & Lesbian Center and San Francisco AIDS Foundation by participating in the AIDS/Lifecycle event on June 5-11.
Cara will join more than 2,500 cyclists on a seven-day bike ride from San Francisco to Los Angeles to mark the historic anniversary of the first reported case of HIV/AIDS by the U.S. Centers for Disease Control & Prevention (CDC). The event is in its tenth year and aims to raise $12.5 million for HIV/AIDS awareness and research.
The spokeswoman took some time to answer a few of our questions about her involvement with the event and how she feels about Jillian Michaels leaving The Biggest Loser.
AfterEllen.com: Why did you decide to get involved with the AIDS/Lifecycle 2011 and LA Gay and Lesbian Center?
Cara Castronuova: When I found out about AIDS/LifeCycle and all the good the L.A. Gay & Lesbian Center and the San Francisco AIDS Foundation provide, I felt that this was the perfect opportunity to contribute my voice and my love of fitness to help raise awareness of these important organizations.
AE: Do you feel a personal attachment to this because you are part of the LGBT community?
CC: I feel a personal attachment because we are all a part of the same community. AIDS is not LGBT specific – though HIV/AIDS is on a dramatic rise for gay and bi men. AIDS/LifeCycle brings together individuals of all ages, races, sexes and abilities for a common goal. To help raise awareness and funds to educate and provide needed resources to those who need it. You can follow our experiences on www.aidslifecycle.org throughout the week of the ride – photos, videos and blogs!
AE: What are you hoping comes of this event and your association with it?
CC: HIV/AIDS has been recognized by the CDC for 30 years. Currently there isn’t a cure. We need to continue to remind each other that this is still a problem, That we must be vigilant in testing, in treating and finding a cure. Yes, there have been impressive advancements but we as a culture have to keep this disease at bay by educating and banding together. Events like AIDS/LifeCycle are important to remind everyone that we need to continue to work.
AE: What else will you be doing with your downtime in between seasons of The Biggest Loser?
CC: The Biggest Loser was an amazing experience and it has positioned me in front of America. I am choosing to use this opportunity to draw attention to causes like AIDS/LifeCycle that can benefit from my voice. As for my career, fitness is my first love, whether at Canyon Ranch or on the California Coastline, I’ll continue to work hard and help people. That’s just what I do.
AE: How do you feel Jillian leaving TBL and Anna Kournikova’s joining will affect the show?
CC: I have tremendous respect for Jillian and I wish her well. I am happy for her to be pursuing new opportunities and following her dreams. She deserves it. I got the opportunity to meet Anna briefly and she is lovely. Anna is a professional athlete, and to get to the level of competition that she was at takes a lot of hard work and I respect her. She’s got a lot of hard work ahead of her, but I know she’ll do great.
To find out more about AIDS/Lifecyle, donate or sign up for next year’s ride, visit aidslifecycle.org. For more on Cara, visit CaraCastronuova.com.