Barry RisingerName: Barry Risinger jr

Age: 37

Where do you call home? The first state capital of Ohio.

Education (degree(s): G.E.D., 3 years of schooling for different art degrees.

What is your relationship status? I'm currently in a relationship with another FA'er. I have 15yr old daughter who has no sign of having FA. I currently share a place with my mom.

What's a typical day for you? I normally wake up take my vitamins and medicine then make a smoothie. After that, my day is filled with drawing, playing games, listening to music, and content creation.

How long have you known you are living with FA? It took me 10 years to get a definite diagnosis. I have had symptoms since I was 13.

Barry Risinger 2Are there any others with FA in your family? No

Describe your transition from walking to walker/wheelchair.: I got my first cane when I was 21 because my parents were worried about people thinking I was drunk. I had walked wobbly for years adapting well to the problem without a cane so much that I would leave it on the counter at the grocery when I checked out and forgot I brought it in. I briefly adopted a walker when I was 27. That barely lasted as I kept tripping over it. I wasn't excited about the idea of losing my front teeth. At age 29, I was told by my neurologist to get a power wheelchair to conserve my energy.

What do you like to do to stay active and what type of exercises work for you to stay strong? I stand as much as possible and stretch a lot. I have OT once a week and PT twice a week. I like to physically exert myself for at least an hour.

Barry Risinger 4Do you have any hobbies or special interests? I'm really into art, and always have been. Now I just have more time for it.

When FA gets you down, what do you think/do to feel better? I try to keep my mind occupied as much as possible. Treatment possibilities grow many times every year, knowing this is a bit comforting.

What is one way living with FA has POSITIVELY affected your life? I have had more time for the family in my life and my passion for art.

What is a favorite motivational quote of yours? Do or do not, there is no try - Yoda

What is the best advice YOU could give to a person who has been newly diagnosed with FA? Everyone is different. Being more health conscious is a priority.

AndreaKiess mtc sig 16