She was born on July 1939 in Bahía Blanca, Argentina to Volga German parents. She became a successful fashion model in the 1960s, and acted in a number of minor roles in Argentine cinema and television, where one of her closest friends was Susana Giménez (later a ratings leader on Argentine television). She studied at the University of Buenos Aires, enrolling at the schools of Medicine and Sociology, and obtaining a degree in the latter discipline, following which she met a prominent local businessman. She became Naty Petrosino and settled into married life, having two children and living as a well-to-do housewife.
At the age of 28, however, an operation resulted in her being declared clinically dead, leading to a mystical experience from which she awakened resolved to devote herself to the poor, leaving her upscale life and donating her estate to assisting the indigent. She became interested, in particular, in the area's marginalized native peoples.