WHEN it comes to lending a helping hand to Victoria’s LGBTI community, there are few as supportive as Ayman Barbaresco.
He’s been a peer facilitator for the Victorian AIDS Council (VAC), on the sub-committee for GLOBE, and a volunteer at JOY 94.9. He’s also currently on the committee for Switchboard, Victoria’s telephone counselling service for LGBTI people.
“When I moved to Melbourne the LGBTI community became like my family,” he said.
“They’re supportive and it’s good to have people to talk to.
“It’s also great to have organisations and groups like JOY 94.9, the Star Observer, and VAC, because it makes LGBTI people feel like they’re a part of something.”
At birth Barbaresco was diagnosed with a neurological disorder called Neurofibromatosis Type 1 and has since endured many ingoing complications.
He overcame a brain tumour at the age of three, scoliosis in 2012, and a second brain tumour that was operable.
However, he is currently readying himself to undergo more tests, procedures, and potentially an operation as this latter brain tumour is growing back.
The round of treatment will be tough for Ayman as he has no family in Melbourne.
To help fund the medical expenses he will incur, Barbaresco has established a GoFundMe campaign and has asked Melbourne’s LGBTI community to lend him a helping hand.
“I was talking to my close friends about the upcoming expenses and they said why not start a campaign, we’ll support you and get it out there,” he said.
“Any donations would be greatly appreciated.”