Over the past several months, students from South Dakota have been working on a project called Fine Arts for Friedreich’s Ataxia or “FA for FA.” FA for FA is an entirely student created and run organization that has partnered with several local businesses to raise money and awareness for FA.

The idea for this project began with a high school freshman named Raena Brendtro, a fellow musical theater performer in Sioux Falls, SD. Raena was diagnosed with Friedreich’s Ataxia (FA) on May 30, 2013.

FAforFA CurtainCallforaCURE

FA for FA held their first event, Curtain Call for a Cure, on June 17th, and it was a complete success. During this event, a group of 20 high school aged students staged several musical theater numbers from well known musicals. Between the songs, information about FA, the symptoms, possible causes, and current cure research, was presented to the audience. The evening culminated with a speech from Raena herself, where she shared her personal struggles with the physical and social hardships of living with FA.

Through the support we received from local news stations (KSFY and KELO), the paper (The Argus Leader), and the Sioux Empire Community Theatre, we certainly met our goal of raising awareness about what FA is and how it affects people. Together we can cure FA!