Doctor to Ron Woodroof shares his real-life 'Dallas Buyers Club' memories

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by GLORIA CAMPOS

WFAA

Posted on January 17, 2014 at 12:07 PM

Updated Friday, Jan 17 at 1:24 PM

DALLAS — Thursday, "Dallas Buyers Club" earned an impressive six Oscar nominations, including best picture and actor.

While the movie wasn't filmed locally, it's set in Dallas and a local physician is very close to the story.       

The movie tells the story of Ron Woodroof, who was diagnosed with AIDS in the '80s. Matthew McConaughey plays the lead role.

Woodroof ran an underground membership club that distributed unauthorized drugs to patients.

Dr. Steven M. Pounders was Woodroof's physician.

"I think there are definitely some risks," he said. "But, the patients who were willing to take the risks, I was willing to go with them."

Four years ago, screenwriters paid Pounders a visit. They were interested in telling Woodroof's story.

"They were very concerned with what I, and maybe the public, would think about if they made the man basically a straight man," he said. "And I thought, well, honestly I didn't see him that way."

Pounders said the screenwriters didn't tell him they had plans to make the doctor a female.

"At least the made her name Eve," he said. "It's close enough to Steve to rhyme."

Pounders said he appreciated Jennifer Gardner's compassion in the role. He said shining a spotlight on the origins of AIDS is important as young people become complacent.

He said three decades later, there's far more reason to hope.

"Now I see three times as many people in the office and nobody is on IVs and nobody's in the hospital, nobody's on home care," Pounders said. "My practice has changed dramatically because people live." 

Woodroof was originally given 30 days to live and he ended up living for seven more years.

Email gcampos@wfaa.com

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