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BARB BARNHART'S LEGACY

Barb DID NOT spend the next seven years DYING after learning she was infected with HIV. She LIVED with HIV/AIDS. She educated others to help them understand the problems associated with AIDS/HIV. She dispelled the misconceptions about what someone "looks" like when they have been exposed or are diagnosed with HIV. The time she was out of the hospital or strong enough to be out in public, she used her medical background and personal experience to educate anyone, and everyone, who cared to learn, just what this deadly virus is all about.

"LIVING WITH HIV/AIDS" (and other auto immune system disorders....I toss this in because I too, have an auto immune system virus running around in my body. Here in the United States it is most commonly referred to as Chronic Fatigue Syndrome {CFS}. The rest of the world calls it Myalgic Encephalomyelitis (M.E.)I'm here to tell you there is a heck of a lot more to it then being tired!)

SMILE THROUGH THE PAIN

THE BEST TOOL IS EDUCATION -- THE MORE, THE EARLIER, THE BETTER

There are two words that can be used to describe my friend Barb. COURAGE and GRACE

Barb believed her strength and courage for living came from her heart (AND IT DID!). I knew her long before she became aware of the HIV within her body and she was always full of strength, courage, integrity, honesty, and compassion. I believe that it did, indeed, come from a place within Barb, but I can not discount the strong support group who surrounded her and who provided positive life giving and healing forces as well as love and compassion. Each of us need this type of support system but it is especially necessary when faced with a serious illness. All to often it is at this time, for whatever reason, people shy away.

Barb left her home state of Montanta in 1982 and came to Utah where she earned her BS in Nursing from Brigham Young University. In 1990 she was diagnosed with AIDS. With her personal story and medical background she became an HIV/AIDS educator. This allowed her to bring her message to tens of thousands of people across the nation. (Paraphrased from her Obituary in the Salt Lake Tribune December 12, 1997)

I am setting up this site not only in memory of my friend of fourteen years, but also in an attempt to pick up the torch where Barb laid it the day she left her pain filled body and to continue her work.

I'm not Barb so I don't have the same exact talents and abilities she had. In order to carry on in her stead, I'll have to do it my way. I have two main goals. One is to educate. The other is to motivate.

I am sure there are many other people out there who can do what Barb was doing, in their own way, to carry on where she left off.

In addition, I want to recognize all the places made vacant by the death of others with HIV/AIDS.

Finally, I want to make this a place for people to educate, to learn, to provide and to find strength for not only HIV/AIDS but other auto immune system viruses.

DISCLAIMER I do not have a medical background. I am not an RN, MD, NP, PA, or LPN. It is crucial that each one of you who read this will, without a doubt, know I am not speaking from a professional medical position. I think it's imperative that if you or someone you know is in the situation of having an auto immune disorder, please consult with a qualified, licensed, medical professional.

I would like to ask for the assistance of anyone else who knew Barb; or any who possesses knowledge and understanding of any of the multifacets involved in this area, I would appreciate your input. I can't make this site without your input, nor can i maintain it alone.


WHAT YOU CAN DO TO HONOR YOUR LOVED ONE

There are many, many ways of remembering and honoring your loved ones who have passed on. I talked with Barb before her death and together we decided I would plant an evergreen tree. Well, here is the tree that I have to plant for Barb. I would like to hear from any of you have other ways, so that I can list them here. In addition, I would like to add a section of links where you can go to receive whatever type of assistance that is needed.... whether it be fore the infected person or a friend, family, other loved ones. Please send me those URLs so that I can include them.


Barb has touched more lives due to this site. Thank you.

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Contact me, Kathy Pratt, at dolphin3456@aol.com.