Meet Hayden Clay Rogers

Name: Hayden Clay Rogers

Age: 26

Where do you call home? San Antonio, Texas

What is your education [degree(s)]? Right now, I just have a high school diploma, although I am planning to get a degree in exercise physiology.

Who do you live with? I live with my parents.

What’s a typical day for you? I wake up, drill on my grappling dummy, do calisthenics, then I do yoga. I work from home, so if anything comes up, I deal with it. I try to train at least three days a week. Afterwards, I shower and go to bed.

How long have you known you are living with FA? When and how were you diagnosed? Since I was almost 19. It was about November 2016, and I got my genetic testing done. I was misdiagnosed with neuropathy several years earlier.

Are there any others with FA in your family? My brother.

Describe your transition from walking to walker/wheelchair. I was stubborn so it took awhile, but now I mostly use a cane. I use a wheelchair for areas where I have to move around a lot.

What do you like to do to stay active and what type of exercises work for you to stay strong? Brazilian jiu-jitsu, yoga, and calisthenics.

Do you have any special hobbies or interests? My hobby is Brazilian jiu-jitsu and I enjoy anime.

What is a good trick to make daily life easier? Find something that you enjoy doing.

When FA gets you down, what do you think/do to feel better? I distract myself with stuff I enjoy doing.

What is one way living with FA has POSITIVELY affected your life? Perspective and perseverance.

What is a favorite motivational quote of yours? All hard work brings a profit, but mere talk leads only to poverty. Proverbs 14:23

What is the best advice YOU could give to a person who has been newly diagnosed with FA? Again, find something you enjoy doing.

What is the first thing you want to do when a cure/treatment to FA is found? Go for a run.

“I have FA but FA doesn’t have me.” What does this statement mean to you? It means I don’t let it define who I am.

How do you live your life in the face of adversity? By pushing through.

Tell us a little more about you… I work at an MMA gym, I’m a Brazilian jiu-jitsu purple belt, and I enjoy red meat.

Interviewed by
Mary Nadon Scott