AngeloName: Angelo Bonarrigo Jr.

Age: 49

Where do you call home? Palm Bay, FL

Education: BS-Accounting, University of Central FL, 1991

Who do you live with? Married 17yrs with 3 children none w/FA

What's a typical day for you? Work full-time M-F, weekends, yard work, church, and soccer games for the kids, thrift shopping, etc.

How long have you known you are living with FA? I was correctly diagnosed in 2003 after being incorrectly diagnosed in 2000 with Cerebellum Atrophy.

Are there any others with FA in your family? No

Angelo 3Describe your transition from walking to walker/wheelchair. I thank God every day that I'm still ambulatory. I walk with a cane most of the time. I'm fortunate to live in a very flat area; otherwise, I wouldn't be as mobile.

What do you like to do to stay active and what type of exercises work for you to stay strong? Working and walking. My work has 3 buildings that encompass ½ a city block, so having to walk to each of the building multiple times a day and walking the soccer fields during the kid's practice and games keeps me active.

Do you have any hobbies or special interests? I enjoy yard work, working on my car, and watching auto racing.

What is a good trick to make daily life easier? PRAYER gets me through everyday struggles. I find it helpful to keep a "to do" list for each day and conserve your energy to accomplish them.

When FA gets you down, what do you think/do to feel better? I know God is for and not against me and the He is within me to guide me (if I listen).

What is one way living with FA has POSITIVELY affected your life? FA has encouraged me to spend more time with my wife and kids.

What is a favorite motivational quote of yours? Romans 8:28: "And we know that in all things God works for the good of those who love him, who have been called according to his purpose".

Angelo 2What is a piece of advice that someone with FA has given you that encourages and inspires you? While attending an FA symposium, I heard a quote that encourages and inspires me. 'The pessimist sees the difficulty in every opportunity. The optimist sees the opportunity in every difficulty." -Winston Churchill

What is the best advice YOU could give to a person who has been newly diagnosed with FA? My advice to those newly diagnosed with FA is: never, never, never give up. Have faith in God to use you to help and inspire others in need.

What is the first thing you want to do when a cure/treatment to FA is found? I'd like to take my family skiing.

"I have FA but FA doesn't have me." What does this statement mean to you? You don't have to be defined by your illness.

How do you live your life in the face of adversity? Adversity should be motivation for you to continue to push yourself to live your life to the fullest, regardless of your physical limitations.

Tell us a little more about you: I was born and raised in Long Island, NY. I moved to Florida in 1985 and finished high school. I attended college in FL and participated on the cross country, track, and marathon teams. I graduated from UCF in 1991. My brothers and I took over the family business (custom metal fabrication, machining, finishing, and assembly). I married in 2002 and am the father of three children, ages 22, 14, 11.

Chelsea Conley Ambassador Signature