Maria MTC 3Name: María Luisa Ledesma Cano

Age: 27

Where do you call home? Talarrubias, Badajoz, Spain

What is a current goal you have with your education? My dream would be to work as a social worker, because I am studying it.

Who do you live with? I live with my mother, but in the school period, I live in a center where my life is independent.

What's a typical day for you? Well, in my town, it's a little boring because there is little accessibility. But where I live for a few months, I get up to study and do activities.

How long have you known you are living with FA? When it came to doing manual work, I was a bit clumsy at first. Because I was just a girl, it seemed normal, but at the age of 13, Doctors made me do genetic tests, which confirmed that I have FA.

Are there any others with FA in your family? I don't know. I'm adopted

Maria MTC 2Describe your transition from walking to walker/wheelchair. When I started using the wheelchair, I felt ashamed. But today, my chair is my faithful friend.

What do you like to do to stay active and what type of exercises work for you to stay strong? To keep my mind busy, I like to study and learn new things. For exercises, I stand up for ten minutes or so, and do have to take a few minutes a day to move around a bit.

Do you have any hobbies or special interests? Listen to music.

What is a good trick to make daily life easier? Going to the gym because while you socialize, you also exercise and feel good against the oxidation of the body.

When FA gets you down, what do you think/do to feel better? I listen to music, and also I surf the internet.

What is one way living with FA has POSITIVELY affected your life? It has taught me to value people better/ give people the value that they deserve.

Maria MTCWhat is a favorite motivational quote of yours? I BELIEVE IN DREAMS is the title of a song that I use as a motivational quote.

What is a piece of advice that someone with FA has given you that encourages and inspires you? You have to fight for what you want.

What is the best advice YOU could give to a person who has been newly diagnosed with FA? That after all, they don't have to let their smile be removed from their face.

What is the first thing you want to do when a cure/treatment to FA is found? Walk, I miss being able to walk the most.

"I have FA, but FA doesn't have me." What does this statement mean to you? How do you live your life in the face of adversity? For me, I interpret it as all the people who are in a wheelchair or a difficulty in doing things does not define anything of a person.

Maria Mercedes Sebastian Ambassador Signature