Hi everyone, my name is Kelly Barendt. I'm 26 years old and just moved to my own apartment in Columbus, Ohio. I was diagnosed with FA at 18, just weeks before high school graduation. I currently do remote freelance work, and the rest of my time is filled with taking care of my health, both physically and mentally. I try to work out every day (key word is try...). I love seeing a personal trainer, practicing Pilates, and going for walks in the sun. I'm fully dependent on a rollator and sometimes use a wheelchair for long distances.
FA is awful, but that doesn't mean my life has to be like that, as well. Of course, there challenges and rough days, but overall, I truly believe it's possible to live a meaningful life, full of love, happiness, and passion.
In 2017, I started a blog, 'My Darling Life with FA' to share some of my experiences living with this rare disease. It has since become my passion project and a place to share my message of leading a fulfilling life despite challenges. It's also a wonderful creative outlet, where I write, practice photography and graphic design, and connect with other like-minded individuals. Here, you can find things like the story of my diagnosis, a life-changing mobility aid, and my unrelenting hope for a cure for FA. xx