Giovanna 2Name: Giovanna Moreschi.

Age: I am 20 years old.

Where do you call home? São Paulo – SP – Brazil

What are your educational goals? I study courses in psychology. Even though I have FA and many difficulties, I do not give up and do not stop believing that I will build my career!

Who do you live with? I live with my parents and my two sisters.

What is a typical day for you? My typical routine during the weekday includes University classes, physical therapy or Pilates and during the evenings, I study at my University. On weekends I always try to go out, hang out with friends and eat.

How long have you known you are living with FA? I had symptoms at 10 years old, and\at 13 years old I was diagnosed with some kind of cerebellitis (inflammation of the cerebellum). I got a diagnosis of FA in 2016 at 17 years old.

Are there others in your family with FA? No.

Describe your transition from walking to walker/wheelchair. I began my transition by simply holding onto others for walking support. It then became clear that I needed additional support, but I was reluctant to go to a walker. With the walker, I felt inferior to other people and was ashamed, currently; I use the wheelchair more because it gives me more independence. I accept my condition and I'm happy anyway!

What do you like to do to stay active and what type of exercises work for you to stay strong? I feel good when I stretch, but exercises I like for strength is Pilates

Do you have hobbies or special interests? I record my videos for Youtube or take my pictures and hang out with friends.

Do you have a good trick to make life easier? Get everything organized so I can do things for me makes my life easier.

Giovanna CollageWhen FA gets you down, what do you do to feel better? I listen to music, meditate, talk, cry, watch a good movie and stay close to family.

What is one way living with FA has POSITIVELY affected your life? Living with FA has taught me that in spite of difficulties, I can be happy and do things anyway.

What is a favorite motivational quote of yours? Life has to be lived.

What is the best advice YOU could give to a person who has been newly diagnosed with FA? Live without you putting limits on yourself! Do it all, live intensely, FA is hard, but it's not the end of the world

What is the first thing you want to do when a cure/treatment to FA is found? When a cure is found, I will wear a long dress and receive friends and relatives at a party.

"I have FA but FA doesn't have me." What does this statement mean to you? This statement from my perspective means that while I have FA, it doesn't define me or limit me.

Tell us more about you.... A few days after my FA diagnosis, I posted my first video on my YouTube channel; that's where I broke free! I started talking openly about my illness, stopped feeling inferior, and started having relationships. I told my mother that people looked at me, My mother always told me to show my best side, and exchange a smile with others. It was then that I really started using this bit of wisdom in my life. My Youtube channel was born! It is called, "Trocando Sorrisos". (Translated from Portuguese into English it means exchanging smiles.) Please check it out, click here!

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