MadelynHey, everyone, I'm Madelyn Frederick and I am 20 years old.

When I was 13, I hit the genetic Jackpot and was diagnosed with a progressive, degenerative, neuromuscular disease called Friedreich's Ataxia. Say that three times fast! It has taken me a while to accept and embrace my life now, 5 years to be exact. I was in denial. I thought if I did not hear, talk, or think about FA it would disappear. Unfortunately, that was not the case and as my progression became more noticeable I knew I could not hide anymore.


In January of 2018, I decided to attend a virtual FA teen hangout. That day forever changed my life, my outlook, and my perspective. I did not feel alone or isolated and most of all, a fire was lit in my soul. I immediately wanted to help and raise awareness. I started attending events and sharing my journey on social media. I also started making YouTube videos about my life with Friedrich's Ataxia. You can follow me at

Getting involved in the FA community is one of the best things I have ever done. FA ambassadors were people I looked up to and admired and now I am one of them. I like to always remember that FA may take away your physical abilities but it has given me chances, opportunities, and abilities to do so much more than I could have ever imagined. FA may hinder the way that I do things but I can still do them. Some days are definitely harder than others but I have to remember that I have FA, but it doesn't
have me.

Always remember to be good. Be kind. Be positive.