I don't remember at what age I learned of Mother Teresa because it seems as though she has been a part of my entire life. She initially studied in Ireland to become a nun in order to teach but was so moved by the poverty that surrounded her in India that she then received basic medical training in order to help those in dire need. Renouncing her role as a missionary in order to focus on this work, she ended up begging for food and supplies as she no longer lived at the convent. After a difficult beginning in the 1940's, by the year 2000 there were over 4.000 nuns working together with her to run orphanages, AIDS hospices, and charity centers worldwide. I think the thing that struck me the most when I was growing up was how she showed the world that an AIDS sufferer should be loved, be touched and treated like the human beings they were rather than outcasts. In a time that we knew nothing about the disease, she understood the necessity of human compassion.