I was born on Brazil’s Independence Day (September 7th) in 1982 in a small town called Jaragua do Sul, in Santa Catarina State. My full name is Mariana de Cerqueira Knabben, but everyone calls me Mary. I had a pretty regular childhood and it was a fun one. When I was 6 years old, my parents decided to move to another city called Joinville in the same state.
Everything in my life was going as normal as it should be, well sort of… When I turned 10, I found out that I had leukemia and in a blink of an eye, my life changed completely. I had to move to Curitiba (Parana state) with my mother for my chemotherapy treatment; my father and siblings stayed in Joinville. Moreover, I had to quit school in october of 1992, only returning after July vacations of the following year. With the end of the treatment, which lasted almost two years, slowly my life went back to ‘normal’. However, since this disease tend to catch us umprepared of any possibility of prevention, I learned several lessons. I matured, without a choice, because I had to understand everything that was happening to me. I learned to value every living minute, appreciate more those around me and even help them whenever they needed, but most importantly to fight for what I want with a strong determination and willingness. This time will always be with me, but I don’t want people to pity me. Thankfully, the worst is gone. I’m telling you this because it’s part of my existence, specially to others to realize that millions of people are affected every year. I know I had a very serious illness, however, I didn’t let it take over, I fought and I won.
The same way was Journalism and I. When I was 15 years old, I already knew what I’d be doing for the rest of my life. I had decided since day one, even though many people doubted my choice. When I turned 17, I decided that I would move to another city to attend university. I wanted to live by myself and conquer my independence. What an irony… Therefore, at 18 years of age, I moved back to Curitiba to attend the Journalism course at the Pontiff Catholic University, where I lived for four and half years. Why did I choose Journalism as my profession? That very same question was in my head for days, months, and years. When I stop and ask myself that question again, many answers arise and all of them sound very convincing. I always liked to write, to chat with people and to read, a lot, anything that I can put my hands on. I even have an interesting passage about it. For many years my father has the subscription of a newsweek magazine, which I grew up reading it. Since for subscribers the magazine arrives on Sunday, father and daughter always competed who could read the magazine first.
I am particularly drawn to special articles, because you have more time to prepare, so that it’s richer and more elaborated. Besides that, I’m ‘addicted’ to TV and internet. The first, I spend hours watching anything that catches my attention, and the latter, I also spend hours connected doing research and reading news. There is my curiosity too, which I guarantee you, is big enough, because since I was a child I wanted to know everything. Last, but not least, my sense of observation, which allows me to be always attentive to everything that happens around me, and out of it too.
In a way, Journalism has always been present in my life for different reasons. It’s interesting to notice looking back that all the signals were already there. All this universe of writing articles, production, interviews, etc. are part of my life because I am 100% sure of the choice I made. I have conviction of my principles and values which I try to showcase them at any work past or new, and above all, with quality.
This is me today, a 30-year-old gal graduated in the profession that already fulfills and makes me proud with its various possibilities of developing a clean, clear and credible work.