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"I met Zar via an online social network while conducting personal research. At that time, I was impressed with his persistent and focused personal philosophy. Later, I discovered he was also a creative person like me and that solidified a friendship that has persisted coming up on five years. Over those years I have watched Zar develop into the dynamic and honorable person he is today.

'Zar is nothing short of a shining example of what focus and determination can engender in a life. As a child, he showed the characteristics of a child with a learning disability. At age 15 was told he had an incurable progressively debilitating disease called Charcot Marie Tooth Syndrome, a hereditary motor and sensory neuropathy (HMSN) and peroneal muscular atrophy (PMA) disorder characterized by progressive loss of muscle tissue and touch sensation across various parts of the body. Most people would simply accept this as their lot in life, but not Zar.

'He had to leave school at age 15, but finished his secondary education later as an adult. After that, he continued his education in Business College, earning two diplomas in business and design. He has also earned several certificates in religious studies (Catholicism) and a diploma (with honors!) in Fitness and Nutrition. By age 47 his IQ, originally measured around 80, had developed toward 141.

'In addition to the medical issues and complications, which continue to be a challenge, Zar is a transsexual member of the lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender (LGBT) community. As such, he has also had to overcome bigotry and abuse on many levels. Despite all of these challenges, Zar continues to produce unique and visionary art during a time when creativity and the arts are under- or de-funded in many communities world-wide." [2013]

      - L. Jackson  NASA

      - Lee Jackson, Document Specialist
           & Technical Editor; NASA  [2013]

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Golden Flourish

References & Comments

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