My name is Natache Iamaya, I'm Brazilian and live in Rio de Janeiro. At the age of 13, I began to notice something in my coordination and balance and at age 18, after several inconclusive tests, I was diagnosed with Friedreich's Ataxia.
When the first symptoms became visible, I noticed people staring of me out of curiosity. Later in college, I continued to feel prejudice and I had to face a country unprepared to accept handicapped people. These events added to all the dreams and expectations of a young woman eager to discover things and find acceptance, bewildered me and made me isolate myself in a cocoon of sadness, fear, and shame for what was happening. It took me a while but I turned around and I realized that my happiness depends primarily on me and how important it is to have determination and courage to keep moving forward.