Accept Cookies?
Provided by OpenGlobal E-commerce

Please wait while your page loads ...

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!

John Cernosek

Sandra Johnson Name: John Cernosek

Age: 38

Where do you call home? Silver Spring, Maryland

Education/Career: Bachelor of Science in Decision and Systems Sciences from Saint Joseph’s University.

Who do you live with? My partner, Yiomarie Rodriguez, and I live in an apartment.

What is a typical day for you? A relaxing morning with news and Jeopardy from Alexa; coffee, banana, cereal. Two or three days a week I go to the gym in my building. I move through my own version of physical therapy in the style of about a million different symptom-battling activities in the apartment. I will talk about them soon. I read, write, and research most days for a pamphlet I’m hopefully wrapping up soon. Yiomarie and I eat dinner and watch TV in the evening. At night, I shower and water the garden; or work on a puzzle; or putz around with headphones blaring.


Madison Hardwick

Sandra Johnson Name: Madison Hardwick

Age: 20

Where do you call home? Waco, Texas!

Education/Career: My major is in Psychology and I will graduate in the spring from Austin Community College with my Associates of Arts and transfer to Tarleton to get my Bachelors. I want to be a Marriage and Family Therapist, because therapy saved my life this past year and I want to help others cope in healthy ways. I owe my improved mental health to therapy and it’s why I’ve come so far in my acceptance of my FA diagnosis.

Who do you live with? I live with my parents and younger brother & sister who are twins!

What is a typical day for you? I do my classes online in the morning and help watch my 4 month old niece all day. I do physical therapy twice a week, and do home exercises on the days I’m home. I hang out with family, read, and cuddle with my dogs!


Cristian Florian Bondarenco

Sandra Johnson Name: Cristian Florian Bondarenco

Age: 32

Where do you call home? Constanța, Romania

Education/Career: Bachelor's degree, Law school

Who do you live with? Wife, child, and my parents.

What is a typical day for you? Work & work :)


Shelby Wright

Sandra Johnson Name: Shelby Wright

Age: 25

Where do you call home? Southern Missouri

Education/Career: I have a BS in Political Science from Missouri Southern State University (graduated in 2019) and I start law school at University of Missouri in August (2021).

Who do you live with? I am single without kids. I live at home with my parents currently, but I am about to move to Columbia, Missouri for law school. I am close to both my sisters, but they are older and have houses of their own.

What is a typical day for you? The last year has been somewhat unscheduled since I haven’t been in school. But I have spent time writing as a journalist for an online publication and worked on a campaign making phone calls to possible voters.


Caroline Spencer

Sandra Johnson Name: Caroline Spencer

Age: 33

Where do you call home? I am from Cincinnati, OH but just moved to Massachusetts, near Worcester.

Education/Career: I recently completed my PhD in speech pathology! Because of FA, I know what it is like to be a patient, and I feel that it gives me empathy for people with other kinds of disabilities and communication disorders, too. Being a patient myself makes me aware that research should not only be scientifically interesting, but meaningful to the patients, too.

What is a typical day for you? Mornings start with taking care of my service dog, Clark and getting us both ready for work. I am a postdoctoral fellow in the Communication and Neurodevelopment Lab at Boston University. In this post-COVID summer, I am going to work some days and work from home the others. I usually go for a walk with Clark at lunchtime. In the evening, my boyfriend and I will either cook something at home or go out to dinner. On the weekends, I like to work around the house or ride my trike.


Page 4 of 53




Archived in
  the Ambassador Blog

Site Map     Privacy Policy      Service Terms      Contact      Charity Navigator