Skip to main content
Part of complete coverage on

Grief over Malaysia Airlines Flight 17, support for those left behind

By Katie Walmsley, CNN
updated 3:49 PM EDT, Fri July 25, 2014
Families of crew members aboard Malaysia Airlines Flight 17 gather for a vigil Tuesday, July 22, in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia. All 298 people aboard the passenger plane died when it was shot down Thursday, July 17, in a rebel-controlled part of eastern Ukraine. Families of crew members aboard Malaysia Airlines Flight 17 gather for a vigil Tuesday, July 22, in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia. All 298 people aboard the passenger plane died when it was shot down Thursday, July 17, in a rebel-controlled part of eastern Ukraine.
HIDE CAPTION
World reacts to MH17 crash
World reacts to MH17 crash
World reacts to MH17 crash
World reacts to MH17 crash
World reacts to MH17 crash
World reacts to MH17 crash
World reacts to MH17 crash
World reacts to MH17 crash
World reacts to MH17 crash
World reacts to MH17 crash
World reacts to MH17 crash
World reacts to MH17 crash
World reacts to MH17 crash
World reacts to MH17 crash
World reacts to MH17 crash
World reacts to MH17 crash
World reacts to MH17 crash
World reacts to MH17 crash
World reacts to MH17 crash
World reacts to MH17 crash
World reacts to MH17 crash
World reacts to MH17 crash
World reacts to MH17 crash
World reacts to MH17 crash
World reacts to MH17 crash
World reacts to MH17 crash
World reacts to MH17 crash
World reacts to MH17 crash
<<
<
1
2
3
4
5
6
7
8
9
10
11
12
13
14
15
16
17
18
19
20
21
22
23
24
25
26
27
28
>
>>
STORY HIGHLIGHTS
  • AIDS experts on way to Australian conference are among dead on Malaysian jet
  • UNAIDS official says "moment of sadness" offers way "to push our agenda"
  • Other groups provides support to those who have lost friends or family in air disasters

(CNN) -- As officials search for answers into the downing of Malaysia Airlines Flight 17, details are emerging about the 298 passengers and crew aboard the plane. Families, friends and mourners from around the world united on social media to express their horror and sadness over the disaster.

A Facebook page for flight attendants worldwide became a forum for grieving members of the flying community. A status update from the site administrator asked, "For those of us flying today, did you find it hard to put your uniform on and greet your passengers? I know I do." One comment below it urged, "Non crew readers (like myself): give your cabin crew a smile today."

Among the dead were a number of AIDS experts, including researcher Joep Lange, former president of the International AIDS Society. They were on their way to the International AIDS Conference in Melbourne, Australia.

"Joep Lange was a towering presence in the fight against AIDS since the beginning of the epidemic and a wonderful friend, colleague, and teacher," said amfAR CEO Kevin Robert Frost in a statement. "He inspired legions of AIDS researchers, healthcare workers and activists and was an inspiration to me personally. He will be sorely missed."

Those wishing to donate to a current project in Lange's memory could look to a study he initiated before his death. The goal of the study is to find out how starting antiretroviral treatment within 24 hours of diagnosis helps patients with HIV. You can find details here.

UNAIDS Executive Director Michel Sidibe said he hoped the AIDS research community's work could be furthered as a way to come out of this tragedy. "We should use this moment of sadness as a moment for us to push our agenda," he said, "our agenda for saving lives of millions of people."

#AIDS2014 was trending on social media, with individuals and nonprofits tweeting their support. Some expressed concern about the impact of years of lost knowledge with those who perished on the flight.

Some asked where they could donate to support AIDS research in honor of those killed on Flight 17. Impact Your World has details of charities that fund AIDS research, including the Elton John AIDS Foundation, AMFAR, UNAIDS and the Elizabeth Glaser Pediatric AIDS Foundation.

The UK based charity Kidasha confirmed on their website that they've received a surge in donations from people wishing to pay tribute to MH17 victim Richard Mayne. Mayne had trekked to Everest base camp earlier this year to raise money for the charity, and supporters took to social media to urge others to donate in his honor.

Other messages offering support poured in from around the world.

"It has been 18 years since I lost my fiancé in TWA Flight 800, yet with every new air crash, I, along with all the other families who experienced loss that day, revisit those emotions and are brought back to Day One," said Heidi Snow, referring to the plane that exploded over the shores of Long Island, New York, in 1996.

Snow is founder of ACCESS, an organization that provides support to those who have lost friends or family in air disasters.

"We want all those who are suffering from loss after this air disaster and any other disaster to know we are here, we understand, we care, and we can help you," she said.

ACCESS has a toll-free help line -- 877-227-6435 -- and a website where people can reach out to survivors from past air disasters, or get support from others who have lost people in air tragedies.

CNN Flight 17 full coverage

ADVERTISEMENT
Part of complete coverage on
updated 7:34 AM EDT, Tue September 9, 2014
"There were many scenes that defied logic," writes OSCE spokesman Michael Bociurkiw, who was one of the first international observers to arrive at the site.
updated 6:55 PM EDT, Tue July 29, 2014
During the last four months, the people of Ukraine have been fighting for their freedom, independence and European path in a war started by Russia-backed terrorists and their accomplices.
updated 7:08 AM EDT, Thu July 31, 2014
The road isn't easy -- past shelling and eerie separatist checkpoints. But where it leads is harder still.
updated 2:57 PM EDT, Wed July 23, 2014
A nun, an AIDS researcher, an athlete and a family traveling on summer vacation. These were some of the victims aboard MH17.
updated 8:29 AM EDT, Sat July 26, 2014
The mother of two brothers killed in the MH17 plane crash has spoken of her regret at not taking her youngest son's fears over the flight seriously.
updated 2:01 PM EDT, Sun July 27, 2014
A long line of hearses, accompanied by police, carried the remains slowly toward a Dutch military base, where forensic investigators will begin the grim work of identifying them.
updated 2:08 PM EDT, Fri July 25, 2014
Seeing the images of the mangled wreckage of an aircraft after a crash is difficult for any flight attendant.
updated 7:04 PM EDT, Thu July 24, 2014
The United States and its allies are angrier at Russia now over Ukraine, but will they do anything more about it -- especially Europe?
updated 3:00 AM EDT, Thu July 24, 2014
When passengers boarded Malaysia Airlines Flight 17 last week, they couldn't have known they were about to fly over a battlefield.
updated 5:25 AM EDT, Wed July 23, 2014
The horrifying crash has put the pro-Russia rebels center stage -- and raised all kinds of questions about who they are, what they want and who's in charge.
updated 11:40 AM EDT, Sun July 20, 2014
Some contend that larger weapons have come into Ukraine from Russia.
updated 1:04 PM EDT, Mon July 21, 2014
Aerial photos show the scale of the crash site and help investigators to answer lingering questions.
ADVERTISEMENT
ADVERTISEMENT
ADVERTISEMENT
ADVERTISEMENT