Blog Stories Frances Changed My Life

Frances Changed My Life

By Alyssa Starelli, June 22, 2023

As a Realtor, it has been one of my great joys to get to know clients’ children. Often, I take the opportunity to entertain them while their parents survey a prospective home. It’s always interesting, fun, and if lucky, creates a bond that they recall when they see me again, sometimes years later.  It’s been amazing to watch them grow and morph into young adults over my career and connection with their parents and I’m fond of those memories.

Frances is one of those children I have been blessed enough to get to know. She’s full of excitement, energy, questions and great hugs, often taking me by the arm as though I’m a treasured friend.  Her positivity, joy and love is palpable.

Recently, after years of research, doctor’s visits and chasing every lead, her parents have found that she suffers from an ultra rare (1 of 6 cases in the world) genetic neurological degenerative disease DHDDS. A disease that is so rare as to not be serviced by existing medical healthcare or insurance, forcing her parents to fund and manage her treatment almost entirely themselves.

However, recently they have been given hope that there may be a pathway to a cure, that Frances is a viable candidate for personalized medicine and at the very least, management of  her symptoms (which are quite scary: tremor, drop seizures, and myoclonic jerking).  In my conversations with Frances’ mother Zoe, it was a huge and difficult decision to go public with this and even harder to ask for help funding her medical needs. However, as musicians of renown (Portugal. The Man), their going public would also bring more attention to this rare disease and others which so need more publicity.

To be honest, there’s not much I can do personally, but as Frances’ friend, I can promote her cause and hope that I get to watch her blossom into beautiful, serene, healthy, adulthood. She is a special soul and she changes people’s lives.  If you’d like to donate or promote and for more information direct from the source, please click on this Go Fund Me link. FRANCES CHANGED MY LIFE

For other information or ways to help people with rare diseases, please click here:

Alyssa Starelli

Broker | OR

A Portland native, Alyssa started her real estate career in the chaotic market of 2005, and quickly realized she reveled in matching particular clients with their perfect home, no matter how unusual. She then began specializing in mid-century properties - both Modern and Modest. More recently, she has included what she calls "Period-Perfect" homes to her repertoire. Her goal in this is to seek out those hard-to-find, unremodeled original homes of all eras. When I started in real estate, I realized there was a market for ranch homes, from Mid-Century Modern to the more modest Daylight Ranch, but few REALTORS® willing to service it. I started highlighting these 'Picks of the Week' on my website, introducing enthusiasts to the full gamut of midcentury houses of Portland. In 2006, I founded the Mid-Century Modern League in order to educate the public about the importance of preserving these gems. Today I continue to focus on Mid-Mod, but have added vintage, mostly unremodeled houses of earlier eras, which I call 'Period-Perfect', because they have interest to clients and are under-serviced too. Frankly, I enjoy seeking out any unusual or original elements a client might be interested in, it's a challenge to rise to." As Founder of the Mid-century Modern League, Alyssa is considered an authority in the local mid-century architecture scene, and is especially proud to include the Editors of Atomic Ranch Magazine in her past-client list. Often quoted in news and radio, she has been able to bring additional interest to her business, listings, and client's homes - many of which have been featured in magazines such as Atomic Ranch, Oregon Home, The Oregonian and also included on several local home tours. With a background in marketing, and an eye for the unique, Alyssa really enjoys buying and selling properties whose interesting features may be overlooked by other realtors, even (or especially) if those features aren't mentioned in the listing. As a hobby, Alyssa has issued herself a challenge to walk every residential street of Portland proper and document the best architecture specimens of each neighborhood. There are about 3500 square miles of Portland, and it's a big feat. By the time she finishes, she will have seen every house in Portland with her own eyes! You can follow her walks on her blog Portland-by-Foot. When off duty, you can find Alyssa at estate sales, honky tonks, her friend's cattle ranch, or seeking out ghost towns, roadtripping to the Oregon high-desert. A music fanatic and semi-retired booker/manager, Alyssa is heavily immersed in the western swing, old-school country, and rockabilly music scene, and you'll often find her out at shows, dancing, maybe even sharing her favorites on the radio. Alyssa Starelli 503-888-1362
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