Hey! My name is Nancy Panagoulopoulou and I live in Greece. I am 24 years old but my FA journey has been - or at least feels like it has been - a long one. I started experiencing symptoms like mild lack of balance and tiredness when I was 12. As the symptoms were not very noticeable in the beginning, it was hard for doctors to diagnose me. I ended up receiving a diagnosis at 15, and by then my symptoms had intensified. Eventually around 18, I started using a wheelchair. I try to exercise two or three times a week, with hydrotherapy and physiotherapy. I closely monitor other health issues that might come up.
I became an ambassador because I want to make sure that FA -and all genetic diseases- become a part of the public discourse. I am really sad that we talk -specifically about FA- behind closed doors, so people who are not affected by it, don't really know about it. Even people who have FA don't really know about it. . But how can we really expect specialists to care about FA or people to be understanding when it's not a topic of discussion? FARA has been talking about FA openly for many years and that's precisely why I chose to be an ambassador.
I am a big proponent of speech therapy, which I did for some time until the specialist said that it's no longer necessary. A little more about me as a person: I am a nerd and I fly my nerd flag with pride. I am a huge bookworm and I LOVE movies. I love the English language, in fact it was my major, and I am very passionate about translation and subtitling. I care about the truth, so eventually I ended up in a masters degree program about journalism.