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Meet the Community

You are not alone. The entire FA community, also known as the FAmily, is taking this journey with you. Meet a few of our dynamic people with FA below.  New Meet the Community interviews are posted every Monday, so be sure to visit often.  Please e-mail if you would like to be interviewed for a Meet the Community post.

FARA Ambassadors

The FARA Ambassadors are a group of people living with FA who are committed to supporting FARA in the search for a treatment and cure. They represent the community by speaking at events, meeting pharmaceutical partners, giving media interviews, and more.

Meet the FAmily!

Indiamara Zanandréa

Sandra Johnson Name: Indiamara Zanandréa

Age: 31

Where do you call home? I was born and live in a little town in Rio Grande do Sul, a southern state of Brazil that shares borders with Argentina and Uruguay.

Education/Career: I took a technical nursing course after finishing high school but didn’t get a degree because at that time FA was progressing fast. I chose to take courses over the Internet because they were shorter. So far, I have taken almost 10 courses. I love to study and learn new things and I intend to continue taking courses online. Due to the physical limitations that FA brings me, it is much more comfortable for me. I can do it from anywhere if I have a notebook, a cell phone or tablet and, of course, a good Internet connection.

Who do you live with? I am single, have no children and I live with my parents.

What’s a typical day for you? I usually wake up early, have a good breakfast and then do my physical activities. After that, I study and plan the activities for the rest of the day. Generally, during the day, I help my mother. She works with direct sales and I do it all over the Internet. At night I like to study, eat something light, go to bed and wake up early the next day.

Megan Sonja Clegg

Sandra Johnson Name: Megan Sonja Clegg

Age: 25

Where do you call home? UK

Education/Career: Forensic science diploma, health and social care diploma

Who do you live with? My parents.

What’s a typical day for you? I usually just stay at home.

Amanda Oliver

Sandra Johnson Name: Amanda Oliver

Age: 18

Where do you call home? In the countryside in the middle of Sweden.

Education/Career: I am studying to be a horse groomer and in the summer I am graduating from high school. My goal with my education is to be able to work with horses, to be a horse trainer, and also to train other riders. Perhaps in the future, I am able to hold riding lessons for others with a disability, or that they can come and just be in the stable and groom and get energy from the horses. FA will probably affect me more in the future, so to train horses probably will get harder for me, but I will do this for as long as I can and my body allows it.

Who do you live with? I live alone in a house with 2-4 cats on my parents’ farm, and they live in a house next to mine. On our farm we have a big stable with, right now, 4 Icelandic horses.

What’s a typical day for you? I wake up in the morning and feed the cats and the horses, then I have school (during the pandemic, we have had online classes and we have had that for almost a year now). After school, I try to do some kind of training with my horse. But somedays I do not have so much energy and these days she gets a day off.

Maria Sobotka

Sandra Johnson Name: My name is Maria Sobotka. I don’t know why, but I’m called Mary.

Age: Older than 30, younger than 40.

Where do you call home? I live and work in my house, which is in Vienna, and I actually love it. But it’s too cold!

Education/Career: I have a master's degree in Tourism Management. Somehow I came to work in the energy sector, and now I am the Accessibility - and Health Manager in the Corporate Social Responsibility Team. And I love my work.

Who do you live with? I live alone - Thank God, because my apartment is really small. I have seven siblings in total, so celebrating Christmas is similar to a circus.

What’s a typical day for you? Usually, I wake up because my assistant prepares coffee! Then I start to work with my notebook on the kitchen table. As time flies by, I keep working meanwhile I get dressed or I get a shower or I take a nap or I work on my balcony. Then my assistant comes to prepare dinner. And I finish my day on the couch turning off my brain with Netflix.

Dr. Georg Herdt

Sandra Johnson Name: Dr. Georg Herdt

Age: 40

Where do you call home? Oxford, UK

Education/Career: PhD in Architecture

Who do you live with? I am married and have two lovely young children.

What’s a typical day for you? Get up super early, drink the first of many espresso. Breakfast with kids and do the nursery run. Depending on my availability I try to train as much as possible. After supper with the kids, my wife and I calm down and go to bed early to start getting ready for the next morning.

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