My name is Fernando Ruiz del Prado (but please call me Fer).
My favorite phrase is “Life is a Journey” because pretty much encapsulates the story of my life. Born and raised in Mexico City, when I turned 24, I grabbed two bags, my skateboard and my bass and headed to Boston, MA with enough savings to pay for my first year of college. I worked many jobs to pay for my education. Fortunately upon graduation I was offered a job at WGBH 89.7 fm Boston’s NPR as a production audio engineer.
By 1994 I also started my own production business and in 1995 I landed a large corporate communications account. But in June 1996 at 33 yrs. old my life came to a complete halt because I was diagnosed with stage III Colorectal cancer. Because of my young age it took almost too long to get to proper attention to my symptoms. Finally they reacted and went under major surgery followed by nine months of chemo.
Fast forward to June of 2019 when I rang my 22nd NED cancerversary!
My COLONTOWN journey: In 2010 Erika rang my phone, told me about COLONTOWN and invited me to March to DC two years in a row. I’ve continued to be involved with this wonderful organization. In 2012 Life brought me Toronto, Canada and I moved full time in 2015. Since 2017 I’ve taken on a deeper role because of my cultural and professional background experience. I started to work as an admin for several groups and helping as marketing & communications advisor for Erika and COLONTOWN.
In 2018 I attended the first EPL [Empowered Patient Leader] workshop in Washington DC.
Currently I am Community Leader for all the international groups [True North Crew in Canada, Straya group in Australia, Villa Colon group for worldwide Spanish Speakers, and Darmastad group for German speaking community.] I also help on the Beantown group (the Boston group).
I am also assist with branding, communications, marketing, fundraising, video production and serve as workshop producer & A/V guru. I’ve helped produced the Denver, Boston and Minneapolis workshop. I spend many hours a day and plenty every week tending to all these groups and all the branding and communications needs as well as working with PALTOWN staff on ways to fundraise and raise COLONTOWN’s profile in the outside world.
But if you know Erika and COLONTOWN’s story you’ll understand why! If you don’t know either you’ll want to! My journey with PALTOWN is a labor of love.