Home>Service> Global Love of Lives Award> 18th Fervent Global Love of Lives Award> Chairman of Muscular Dystrophy —— María Cristina Kronfle Gόmez
【Survivor of Muscular Dystrophy,
Creator of Paradise for the Disabled】

“I shall never consider myself inferior because of my disabilities, nor shall I ever refrain myself from anything because of it. Every one of us should live with dignity, and firmly resist the prejudices bestow upon us by society.”
- María Cristina Kronfle Gόmez
 
Creating Paradise for the Disabled in Congress
María Cristina Kronfle Gόmes is the first chairman of the Congressional Human Rights for the disabled in Latin America. She was elected with the highest votes as representative of Ecuadorian Constituent Assembly and congressman. She fights for the disabled communities’ rights to education, medical care, social benefits, politics, and work. She transforms Latin America to a paradise for the disabled. It is where they can live with dignity, hope, and love for life.
 
Kronfle continues to challenge the limits of muscular dystrophy, triumphs over death multiple times, and sets her self as an example to other people with disabilities. She puts herself on the front line at the election and is always elected with the highest votes. During the time she served as the first chairman of Global Congressional Human Rights Group, she spent seven years legislating one law after another in the benefit for the disabled in Ecuador. She stands out from 2341 candidates nominated for the Global Love of Lives Medal, and is awarded with the 18th Global Love of Lives Medal in 2015 by Chou, Ta-Kuan Foundation.
 
Triumph over Death at Age Five
Kronfle was born in Guayaguil, Ecuador on November 22, 1985. She was diagnosed with spinal muscular atrophy at 1 year and 6 months, and was not expected to live over the age of five. Despite that there was no cure, Kronfle received unlimited love from her parents that became the cure for her disease. The Kronfle family triumphed over death with love, and lived to be a miracle.
 
Promoting Voting Campaign for the Disabled
 
Kronfle never considered disabled people to be inferior, nor did she consider that death is the only thing waiting at the end. Kronfle has always been optimistic and seized all her opportunities. She always believed that voting is the first step for the disabled on the way to fight for their dignity.
 
Kronfle stepped out and voted for the first time at age 18. She requested that all official polls should be handicap-accessible, a voting system provided for the blind, and that public promotion of all candidates should use sign language.
 
The most valuable part is that Kronfle encouraged thousands of disabled people to vote. She overcame all obstacles while fighting for their rights in her wheelchair, through the media, the Internet, and in person. Thus, Ecuador became the country with the highest voting rate from the disabled community, catching the attention of all political candidates. Gradually, the demands of the disabled became a hot and major topic among the future candidates.
 
Graduating With Honors At Age 21
 
Kronfle fought for her life at a young age, went through ups and downs living as a disabled person, and understood that she had to fight for her own rights if she were to be heard or taken seriously.
 
In a democratic country, we have to speak and decide on public affairs through a representative. Voting is only the first step. Seeing that there is no advocate for the disabled in Ecuador, Kronfle decided to study law and become a lawyer, prosecutor, and judge.
 
Kronfle was devoted to benefit the disabled through law. She graduated first place from elementary, middle and high school, as well as the Catholic University of Santiago of Guayaquil majoring in law. She was very grateful for people from around the world who provided full scholarships for her to complete her degree.
 
From the moment that Kronfle was awarded her degree in law, her life changed completely. She was destined to transform herself from a girl who lived in her own world into an active advocate who lived for the needs of the disabled. She was devoted to completing the dreams of all disabled in Ecuador.
 
The First Congressman in Latin America for the Disabled at Age 22
 
Kronfle’s sincere devotion to help all disabled people to pursuit their dream with her professionalism in law moved all the electors of Ecuador. She was elected with the highest votes in 2007-2008 as representative of the Constituent Assembly of Ecuador. She was later elected as the congressman in 2009-2013 with the highest votes, and was re-elected in 2013-2017 with the highest votes.
 
Kronfle worked day and night during her life as congressman, she established 71 laws in total that safeguarded the disabled community’s rights to medical care, education, work, and social benefits. The disabled in Ecuador lived their life in dignity and hope thanks to Kronfle. Her work even resulted in an emigration movement to Ecuador for the disabled in Latin America.
 
Kronfle became the spokesperson of the disabled and the young; she lived up to their expectation as she executed each promise she made to them. Her life has become inseparable from the disabled and the young.
 
Reportage on Kronfle’s fight for the disabled and her accomplishments can often be seen in Latin America’s mass media.
 
Asperger Foundation: "In recognition of her outstanding work on the legislation on organizational rights for the disabled" (November 2013)
 
Multiple Sclerosis Foundation: "In recognition of her effort and support for the legislation on the prevention of diseases leading to disability" (2012)
 
"Family" (Hogar) magazine: Special Honor, "Woman of the Year" (2008)
 
"Ombudsman" (Defensoría del Pueblo): "In recognition of her valuable work in Ecuador on the maintenance of human rights and constitutional rights" (2005)
 
Maria Guare Foundation (Fundación María Guare): awarded the "Sisters Award", "In recognition of her contribution to defend minority groups."
 
Jefferson Educational Institutions (Jefferson Unidad Educativa "Jefferson schools": In recognition of her contribution to the rights and interests of the Ecuadorian citizens with disabilities (2004)
 
Served as Chairman of the Human Rights Group for the Disabled of Ecuador Congress at Age 29
 
Kronfle served as educational co-ordinator for social education at Ecuador in 2007. She founded an open university so that the disabled who are restricted to their homes can learn a series of courses through television and radio.
 
In 2008, Kronfle founded the first social welfare organization in Ecuador to help the disabled on self-reliance – AVANZANDO UNI2 Foundation. This includes vocational training centers that offer courses that adapts to each person’s aptitudes, interests, abilities, and skills. There are also sheltered workshops, cultural and creative center, bakeries, orchestra, mouth-and-foot painting artist markets, and famer’s markets. All of these are to help disabled people to build their self-confidence, self-reliance, and to fulfill themselves.
 
2014 is the first year of the disabled in Ecuador. Kronfle became the youngest congressman at age 29, and was voted by all electors as chairman of Ecuador human rights for the disabled group.
 
This youngest global human rights guardian Kronfle is the best example of how a hero is born against all odds. Her outstanding performance is there for all to see.
 
Completion of major works in a new constitution law in Ecuador: Legislation of the protection of the elderly, young, and the disabled.
Promote the signing of "Disability Convention".
Promote adaptive and non-adaptive sports for the disabled.
Founded an Occasional Committee for the Disabled to discuss new bill of rights of the disabled when needed.
Promote Latin American Congress Alliance.
Organized Youth Parliament to encourage sustainable political participation of the youth.
Reform the Act of Children and Adolescents, so that all children and teenagers in need can be helped under the same conditions and obtain special and inclusive education.
 
Safeguard and expand the rights of the disabled to the use of technology and services (such as Rehab buses, computers for the blind, electric wheelchairs, eye-controlled information, etc.).
Created permanent Congressional Human Rights Group for the Disabled.
Called on all sectors to provide accessible and friendly environment for the disabled.
American CNN, Please Focus on Kronfle-A Girl that Shall Reach Her Dreams
 
Where is Kronfle’s perseverance coming from?
The answer is the "desire to live" and enthusiasm for each day. Kronfle relied on a wheelchair to move around since birth, but this did not stop the 30-year-old from her ambitious plan and clear goals.
Kronfle has been nominated as the first member of RED moral and democratic candidate, and was elected with the highest number of votes. This is a program that is currently being organized in Ecuador, and the main goal is to let the community remember the "forgotten" minority group, including people with special needs. One of the most important and recommended ways to achieve this goal is counseling, such as informing and educating our community to make people aware of the problem faced by the disabled. If we do not know where the problem lies, then we do not know how to solve it.
 
Kronfle is the oldest of five children. She likes reading and writing, but her greatest enjoyment of all is when she and her parents Victor Kronfle & Ma Cristina Gómez get together. She says her happiest moments are when the family gets together to chat and talk about their own thing.
 
 
Disabled since when?
From my birth. This disease is called muscle dystrophy(Meopatía or Miopatía), it is a disease that attacks the muscles. The muscle will lose its firmness in the long-term. It’s a fatal disease with no cure.
 
Kronfle said: "I wish to create a more humane Ecuador with the help of everyone. I want Ecuador to be a place where human needs come first. I hope to stop battling and have a road to walk on peacefully, somewhere that I can walk on with trust in God's path."
 
For me it is more than clear: this is a miracle. I am a classified in the black pages of American medical records; in other words, nobody can explain why I am still so healthy despite this disease.
 
What are the main problems and needs of persons with disabilities?
The main problem of people with disabilities is that they have been mistreated for a long time. The fact that they look different from others leads to exclusion.
 
I think the problem is that people unconsciously try to guard themselves from us, but we need to be recognized and understood. I am confident that once people understand the capacity of people with disabilities, they will be greatly surprised. Once this main problem is resolved, other problems such as employment, education, social benefit, medical care, as well as transportation problems will be overcome as well. Our needs will be heard and receive more effective attention.
 
Did you encounter transportation issues when living in your community?
Thank God, I did not encounter transportation problems. However, there is still no special facilities or accessible transportation for people with disabilities in many communities.
 
Speaking of rights, what opinions do you have for Ecuador?
There are laws, ambitions ones, but what we need is practical and executable laws; these laws are not gifts but a right. Little bits of attention for the disabled will transform into laws. I want to raise the government's awareness, promote and pass laws that help the disabled to lead a dignified life. The law should not define people with disabilities on what they can and cannot do. Everyone is created equal and has a purpose to be fulfilled.
 
What is the most profound experience in your life?
Perseverance and hope is the key to success. The wheelchair enables me to travel faster and further... I cannot walk, but I can fly. The spirit and enthusiasm cannot be constrained by my body.
 
How do you start each day?
I devote everyday to God. Otherwise, life would be meaningless. Doctors said that I couldn’t live past 5 years old, and now I am 30 years old. So I am in debt to God by 25 years, I'm sure I will continue to live every day grateful to God.
 
How can the environment of modern youth be improved?
In my case as a young person, family members, especially parents, play the most important role of the family. We cannot break away from our relations with our parents. However, we do not want our parents to have excessive concerns.
 
Who are the most important people in your life?
 
I am alive today because of the help of countless people. I am just an insignificant figure compared to those who helped me. I thank my parents, grandparents, teachers, students, and all of my patriots who love life. Of course, the most important person is God.