" Work for your dreams. If not you will be working for the dreams of others.”
Universidad Los Angeles de Chimbote
"My dream is to be a lawyer, to contribute to a just society, searching ways to better the quality of lives of people with disabilities and of all of my family. To contribute my legal knowledge to favorable legislation for the most vulnerable populations"
I was born October 24, 1991 in the Regional Hospital of the city of Piura, Castilla District. The mom that gave life to this robust boy is Teresa Cardoza León y my father is Esteban Valderrama Zavaleta. They also gave me 3 siblings. I am the second child. A few months after I was born, It was necessary for us to move to Trujillo, my father’s home town.
My preschool was very good and I made a lot of friends. This period of my education was at a school close to my home.
Time went by and I began my primary education in 1998 at the Jose Carlos Mariategui Education Center 2 blocks from my house and where my siblings also attended. This was a very happy time of my childhood. I liked studying and always earned good grades. This allowed me to play sports which I like the most. I was able to play for the teams at my school. I played for teams in my neighborhood and some club teams from the district.
The years went by and school went very well for me. Eventually in 2004, my second year of High School, this was an abrupt change for me. It was a new school, new teachers and I didn’t know 90% of the students. Some of the staff made life impossible but I knew this was part of life and I would have to continue forward.
My second year of secondary school I received a scholarship to study computer assembly and repair while still continuing my other studies. I was very happy and really liked what i was doing. That was until May of this year
(I was 13 years old.) I started losing my sight little by little. Without me realizing my optic nerve was slowly being damaged. We didn’t know what to do. I was in a depressed state. My parents took me to ophthalmologists all over Trujillo without anyone finding out what was wrong with my eyes. Finally, a doctor diagnosed me with multiple sclerosis which was very bad for my family because we did not have the financial resources to continue with treatment. My parents were not comfortable with this diagnosis because I had none of the other symptoms after 2 years. They took me to the Neurological Institute of Lima. Dr. Oscar Reyes Montes who diagnosed me with Optic Neuritis. This was corroborated by several other doctors.
In 2007 I enrolled in the Tulio Herrera León School for the Blind of the city of Trujillo. Here I learned to accept my disability, how to get around, received occupational therapy, learned Braille, coping skills and others ways to be independent. I also received many types of therapy.
After a love affair, my daughter, Ziomara Yalu Valderrama Flores, was born. Unfortunately, she inherited the disability. This made me want to work even harder to follow my dreams for her.
When she was 2, her mother left us, leaving me with all of the responsibility of raising a small child. This only gave me more strength to fight for the 2 of us. In 2014 I began my college phase.