Mathias is a person affected by leprosy, and is personally and professionally committed to involving persons affected in the fight against leprosy and its stigma. He is from Paraguay and his wife, Cynthia, a nurse, was born in the USA but has spent most of her life in Latin America. They have been married for over 10 years and have three children: Gabo, Nico and Alana.
Mathias was Pastor/Chaplain at Hospital Mennonita Km 81— a reference hospital for leprosy in Paraguay —from 2010 until 2015. Mathias and his wife have worked with children, youth, seniors, men and women with disabilities in different churches and other organisations. He studied theology in Paraguay (BA) and in the USA (MDiv).
In October 2010, Mathias was diagnosed with leprosy and completed MDT. In the last few years he has focused more on improving leprosy services by raising the voice and the participation of people affected in decision making and in the delivery of these services. In 2016 he was appointed Chair of ILEP’s Panel of person’s affected by leprosy.
Click to listen to Mathias’ story told on YouTube here