brittany sommerfield My name is María Mercedes Sebastián , I’m 32 years old. I was born in Ecuador, but my parents and I are living in Madrid, Spain now. 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 was diagnosed with FA in Madrid and everything was confirmed by genetic tests in 2008, so I’ve been living with FA for 13 years. I started using wheelchair when I was 25. I started to use it only in difficult situations, but as time went by I needed to use it permanently; I can’t imagine my life without my wheelchair.

As I am Catholic, I love to spend my time with Jesus, opening to him my soul. Seeking and loving him is the best decision I’ve ever made. I’d say it’s my secret to be happy in fact I feel that praying is a good trick that makes my daily life easier because he had shown me that I’m not alone. He (my wonderful God) fights my battles for me in every single area. On the other hand FA has taught me to be patient and perseverant. Furthermore, I’ve learned that I can offer to God my sickness for someone I love. Sickness is not a big pain or something that you can’t handle. Having him in your life, we always have to remember that we can do everything in Christ that strengthens us.

My best advice would be to go to a church, open your heart to God, and start seeking him. If I had done so earlier, I would have avoided a lot of suffering and mistakes. Before being close to God, I used to have depression; I remember spending my days crying and thinking of how miserable I was and of everything that I wanted and didn’t have. But now I spend my life with a big smile, so I’m sure that we can be happy with what we have. We are beautiful and great, as good and special as any other person, or maybe more. And if I’m so happy I’m pretty sure every single FAer can be as happy and joyful as me.