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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!

María Mercedes Sebastián

maria-mercedes-sebastian Name: María Mercedes Sebastián

Age: 32

Where do you call home? I’m Ecuadorian, but my parents and I are living right now in Madrid, Spain.

Education/Career: I studied administration and I also have an MBA, but actually I’m not working because working demands a lot of energy that unfortunately I don’t have at the moment. I use my time to prepare my knowledge in other areas like how to be happy and feel near to God. In fact, I’m thinking about studying a new career with something to do with Religious Sciences, I have a couple of options but I don’t decide which one yet.

Who do you live with? I live with my parents, and I’m so thankful for them and me be their daughter because they are the best parents ever always thinking of me, willing to serve and help me.

What’s a typical day for you? A typical day for me is: I wake up like at 8am, then I start the day watching a YouTube video called 10 minutes with Jesus that is about the reading of the day of the Holy Scriptures (I really think that helps me to start my day in a better way). Then my father gives me my breakfast, and when I’m finished with my breakfast, my mother helps me to have a shower. My mom helps me to get dressed and when I’m ready, I exercise like for an hour and a half with my father (because I’m not going to physiotherapy because of the virus). I listen to some music, and like at 2pm my mom calls me to lunch. At 3 pm I start my prayers, (I can’t explain how much peace it gives me I feel that is the moment of the day where I rest). When I finish my prayers, I watch Masterchef Ecuador by YouTube and then some Catholic conversion testimonies and some predications. I eat dinner and finally I read the Scriptures and Catholic Cathesism, at 10pm I brush my teeth, then I say a short prayer and after everything I sleep.

Vicente Salgado Pires

vicente-salgado-pires Name:Vincente Salgado Pires

Age: 27

Where do you call home? Rio de Janeiro, Brasil

Education/Career: Bachelor’s degree in Biomedical Sciences, Master’s degree in Molecular Biology, and a current PhD student.

What’s a typical day for you? Before the quarantine, I used to wake up at 7:30 am and get ready to go to the lab. I typically would stay there until 4 pm, with classes in between. I did pilates three times a week. On the weekends, I used to meet friends and family.

Sean Sommerville

sean-sommerville Name:Sean Sommerville

Age: 21

Where do you call home? Bay Area in Northern California

Education/Career: Bachelors of Science in Aeronautics

What is your relationship status? Do you have children? I’ve been dating my girlfriend Marlie for two years.

Cassydee Buttadaruo

cassydee-buttadaruo Name: Cassydee Buttadaruo

Age: 20

Where do you call home? I live in Georgia

Education/Career: I have an Associate’s degree in Interdisciplinary Studies. I’m unsure if I’d like to continue with school, but if I were too, I’d like to get a Bachelor’s degree in English because I really enjoy writing.

Who do you live with? I currently live with my parents and siblings who all range from the ages of 3 to 11.

Trim Gjelaj

trim-gjelaj Name: Trim Gjelaj

Age: 31

Where do you call home? I am from Peja, Kosovo, but grew up in Papenburg, Germany.

Education/Career: I finished school for design in Pepenburg, Germany.

Who do you live with? I live with my mother and two brothers. What’s a typical day for you? I wake up. Drink coffee, have breakfast, do exercises, and whatever is my plan is to do for the day.

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