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Sam Bridgman: The University of Portland student faces new challenges after college

Like many college seniors, University of Portland student Sam Bridgman faces his future with a sense of eager apprehension.

Bridgman, a finance major who will graduate May 5, was diagnosed at age 15 with a rare degenerative neuromuscular disorder called Friedreich's ataxia. He was featured last year in an article in The Oregonian about how the UP campus has supported him through the challenges of his condition.

Bridgman recently discussed the highlights of his senior year and the challenges of applying for jobs and searching for an apartment with his girlfriend, Molly Billingham.

"I get really tired at times," he says, "but overall, it's going well."

In September, he helped organize a bike ride to benefit the Friedreich's Ataxia Research Alliance, a nonprofit working to find a cure for the rare disease, which afflicts one of every 50,000 people in the U.S.

The ride, which took place in September on Sauvie Island, drew 200 riders and raised $55,000.

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