After being diagnosed with FA at the age of 15, I had two choices. I could choose to curl up into a little ball and let FA take over, or I could choose to live my life to the fullest each and every day! With the support of my family and friends, we rose united and were not willing to let FA determine our future.
In spite of FA, I chose to Keep Moving Forward with the mentality that Impossible Is Nothing. I graduated from a 4-year university, got a job at the Nike World Headquarters, live independently with my three housemates, and am currently in graduate school at the University of South Florida.
I am 25 years old and am pursuing an MBA and Masters in Sport & Entertainment Management and completing my residency at the Tampa Bay Lightning. The Lightning made it to the Eastern Conference Finals this year and lost Game Seven to the eventual Stanley Cup Champion Pittsburg Penguins. We will come back stronger than ever next season. I hope that it will one day lead to a career in professional sports.
I grew up in Seattle, WA and am a passionate Seahawks fan. During the Seahawks historic run to Super Bowl 48 in 2013, Russell Wilson repeatedly told his team, “Why Not Us? Why can’t we go to the Super Bowl and why can’t we be the best team in the NFL?”
Similarly, I want to be the best I can be, regardless of the roadblocks that stand in my way. Why wouldn’t I come to one of the best young Sports Management programs out there? Why wouldn’t I prepare myself for the career of my dreams? Sports are my passion and I want to pursue it.
Like Russell Wilson, I say, “Why Not Me?’
I try to eat well and keep my body moving on a daily basis. This is my way of moving forward each and everyday. Once a week, I workout on the Alter Gravity Treadmill, go on a walk (it’s actually a push), get in the gym, and ride my handcycle that I got from the Challenged Athletes Foundation.
I’m fortunate to have had key people pour into me and push me to Keep Moving Forward. My family, friends, and professors have all played a key role in my success, and I look forward to having the FA community in my corner.
Muhammed Ali said it first, and I believe in the words on the screen. “Impossible is not a fact. It's an opinion. Impossible is not a declaration. It's a dare. Impossible is potential. Impossible is temporary. Impossible is nothing.”
However, I am not the only person who has faced the impossible, as there are 15,000 people worldwide living with FA. For some of us, taking a shower independently is near impossible. For others, walking across the room is not possible.
The FARA Ambassadors are committed to supporting FARA in the search for a treatment and cure. Together we will cure FA.