Name: Ana Clara Andrade
Where do you call home? I live in Heliopolis, in the northeast of the State of Bahia, Brazil
Education/Career: I am a ninth grader and my dream is to be an interior designer.
What’s a typical day for you? My mornings are reserved for my school classes. In the afternoon I do exercises. In my free time I enjoy painting and playing with my toys and games.
How long have you known you are living with FA? I was diagnosed five years ago.
Are there any others with FA in your family? We cannot recall anybody else with FA in my family.
Describe your transition from walking to walker/wheelchair. I was resistant to using the walker but had no objections about using the wheelchair. Maybe because I had to do a surgery to remove an astrocytoma from my spinal cord six years ago and the use of a wheelchair made things much easier. At that time, I hadn’t been diagnosed with FA yet.
What do you like to do to stay active and what type of exercises work for you to stay strong? I listen to a lot of music to stay active. My favorite workouts are: stretching, treadmill, biking and swimming.
Do you have any hobbies or special interests? I have a special interest in drawing and painting.
What is a good trick to make daily life easier? I think that I have to be persistent about reaching my goals. I can only achieve them if I fight to get there.
When FA gets you down, what do you think/do to feel better? I listen to music. It has the magic power of energizing me.
What is one way living with FA has POSITIVELY affected your life? FA turned me into a more determined person. I don’t give on anything because of my physical limitations. It makes things more difficult but it doesn’t stop me from making my dreams come true.
What is a favorite motivational quote of yours? Be insistent, always persist, never give up. One day you will win.
What is a piece of advice that someone with FA has given you that encourages and inspires you? Never give up, you are a fighter.
What is the best advice YOU could give a person who has been newly diagnosed with FA? We are always able to make our dreams come true and should never lose our faith in ourselves.
What is the first thing you want to do when a cure/treatment to FA is found? To run under the rain.
"I have FA but FA doesn't have me." What does this statement mean to you? How do you live your life in the face of adversity? It means to me that I can do whatever I want even though it will be done in my own way and a little different from an ordinary person. We are all unique and our differences should be respected in any circumstance.