Yessenia Velasque Cusi was born in the Andean department of Abancay, Peru. She is 17 years old and has lived in our Saint Teresa Home since she was 6. She was diagnosed with secondary motor neuron disease, hereditary poly neuropathy, cerebral palsy, and pulmonary fibrosis. Her illness affects only the women of her family. She has five healthy brothers and, until eight years ago, there were two girls. Her sister, who had the same illness, died in 2010. She currently has a tracheotomy because of her frequent respiratory problems. She gets around in a wheelchair and likes to read and do crafts (especially cards) and she encourages others with her words and smile.