Meet Liz

A letter from Liz

 

Dear Friends,

Admittedly, I am not a writer. I prefer to express myself melodically or from time to time by throwing paint around….usually wearing it. Most days I can barely string together an intelligent sentence, but today I write because I have a dream and I need the support of a community in order to accomplish my dream.

On my 32nd birthday, June 25th, 2011, I plan to depart from Prudhoe Bay, Alaska, and cycle the length of the Pan American Highway until I reach Tierra del Fuego, Argentina. The Pan American Highway ends here after approximately 16000 miles or 25749 km.

Why am I traveling such a distance by bicycle?

To Raise AIDS Awareness. Cycling through cities and towns from Alaska to Argentina will allow me  to create opportunities, meet great people, educate and inspire communities to fight the stigma and prejudice that has attached itself to a disease that affects an estimated 65,000 Canadians and approximately 33.3 million people globally. My mission is to remind our society that those living with HIV/AIDS can lead happy and productive lives with the help of  peer support programs, community support and adequate drug therapy.

How HIV/AIDS Affected My Family

The Barrett Brats 1980′ Something

Until Sept  of 2004 I could never have imagined that HIV/AIDS would directly affect my life. On Sept 1st I received news that family member had been diagnosed with AIDS. Two weeks later this family member passed away. AIDS permanently affected the lives of my close family members, their children and loved ones. Everyday we remember, we live, and we move forward. This is no easy feat, but we love each other and protect each other none the less.

About Liz

Most of my friends describe me as crazy, enthusiastic, talented, and sometimes even intellectual. I work as a full-time karaoke host/ events coordinator in Victoria, BC. Basically, I get paid to sing and entertain people every night.

A military brat, and the youngest of five, I adore my parents, and must admit that my three older brothers and big sister are each amazing and talented in their own right.

I spent my early twenty’s painting and singing and in addition to earning a BFA from the Nova Scotia College of Art & Design, I also trained & competed as a classical vocalist, secretly hoping that one day I might perform a lead role on  the operatic stage. Instead I began working as a scenic artist, later trading in my paint brush for microphone and a life jacket to sail the seas as karaoke host/show coordinator for Carnival Cruise Lines.

80’s Night! Liz ( on the left) hanging with friends at work.

As an ex carnival crew member and karaoke host, I can assure you that I have I many interesting and funny stories to share with you, my audience, and my new-found friends. I hope you enjoy getting to know me and I look forward to getting to know you!

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