Andres De Vita Name: Andres De Vita

Age: I’m 30 years old.

Where do you call home? I live in Buenos Aires, Argentina.

Who do you live with? I live with my mom, my dad, and my sister.

What's a typical day for you? Work at home making physical activities (ex. Kinesiology, Crossfit)

How long have you known you are living with FA? It all started when I was 7 years old. In a gym class, the professor ordered us to jog. That's when he realized that I was tripping too much. After long years of failed diagnoses and resorting to many doctors, at the age of 14, I was diagnosed.

Are there any others with FA in your family? Yes, my sister.

Describe your transition from walking to walker/wheelchair: I'm in a wheelchair. I can't walk, I can stand up with help. The transition was slow. Like I said before, I was diagnosed at 14 years old, and when I turned 18 I started using a wheelchair continue to today.

Andres De Vita What do you like to do to stay active and what type of exercises work for you to stay strong? I always try to do something new with my exercises or work. That helps me to stay strong.

Do you have any hobbies or special interests? Staying active doing some exercises.

What is a good trick to make daily life easier? When I'm nervous because something doesn't come out, I take at least three deep breaths, and try to do it again; that's a good solution.

When FA gets you down, what do you think/do to feel better? I always try to not think about that. Sometimes, I feel sad because I couldn’t have a normal life and all is a little harder for FAers.

What is one way living with FA has POSITIVELY affected your life? Living with FA makes me realize what kind of people are close to me. That people are not only helping me to carry on with this illness, they also make me a better person.

What is a favorite motivational quote of yours? ”The world is yours chico, and everything in it…” Tony Montana (Al Pacino), Scarface.

What is piece of advice that someone with FA has given you that encourages and inspires you? S*** happens... xD! (I have that tattooed on my arm)

What is the best advice YOU could give to a person who has been newly diagnosed with FA? ”Don't give up and start to do exercises every day”

What is the first thing you want to do when a cure/treatment to FA is found? Tell my sister.

"I have FA but FA doesn't have me." What does this statement mean to you? How do you live your life in the face of adversity? It sounds cool! I try to feel normal.

Tell us a little more about you… When I was younger nobody said to me 'Train hard always'. This made me lose my physical state; so remember to do activities and/or physical exercises every day if you can, that helps a lot to slow FA’s progress. And I created an Instagram account (@ataxiadefriedreichargentina); where I show how I do my physical activities.

Interviewed by: