Name: RJ Mercure
Where do you call home? Just recently moved to Ashburn Virginia, but would call home Chesapeake Virginia.
Education: Graduated high school in 2004, then went to Woodrow for business, came home in 2009 and found nothing, even had a job coach. So I became a bum at home. I watched animal planet every day and decided to apply to my local zoo ( the Virginia Zoo ) as a keeper aide and got it!! From 2010-2015, best time of my life!!
What's a typical day for you? Need a new job/friends for new area.
How long have you known you are living with FA? Since I was 12, the 7th grade.
Describe your transition from walking to walker/wheelchair. I desperately needed to be in a chair at 17, but being a stubborn, insecure teenager I was determined to finish highschool walking, so I had a few AWESOME friends and an amazing lady help me get around.
What do you like to do to stay active and what type of exercises work for you to stay strong? I go to the gym and have some exercise equipment at home.
Do you have any hobbies or special interests? I'm big on movies, TV, and music. Anything to do with pop-culture.
What is a good trick to make daily life easier? I love to laugh, and making people laugh! If I fall or whatever I just laugh it off!
When FA gets you down, what do you think/do to feel better? Joke about what just happened, laughter is my cure.
What is one way living with FA has POSITIVELY affected your life? FA has has taught me a lot, NEVER judge a book by its cover.
What is a favorite motivational quote of yours? The hardest thing in this world is to live in it.
What is the best advice YOU could give to a person who has been newly diagnosed with FA? Always be yourself and never let anyone else choose your path.
What is the first thing you want to do when a cure/treatment to FA is found? I want to run. I can't remember what it feels like to just walk.
"I have FA but FA doesn't have me." What does this statement mean to you? How do you live your life in the face of adversity? The first decade after being diagnosed I was so insecure and didn't know how to live my life, FA had me. Today, I wish I could go back and relive those years over again with the mindset I have today.