Cindy DName Cindy Deatherage

Age 56

Where do you call home? Central Illinois

Education degree(s): Some college with a Certificate in Clerical and Word Processing

What is your relationship status? Do you have children? I have been married 33 years and have fur-babies

How long have you known you are living with FA? I was "diagnosed" in 1979 by Mayo Clinic. They did many neurological and blood tests and were 99% sure that I had Friedreich's Ataxia. When the gene was discovered I had genetic testing done which proved them right!!

Are there any others with FA in your family? I am the first and only one in my family with FA.

Describe your transition from walking to walker/wheelchair. At first, I walked with a wide gait then having to hold onto walls, then a walker. I gradually worked my way up to a power chair and the world opened up!!!

Cindy D CollageWhat do you like to do to stay active and what type of exercises work for you to stay strong? Getting up and dressed and making sure things get done is enough exercise for me.

Do you have any hobbies or special interests? I read/listen to audiobooks! I read during the day then, watch movies at night with my husband. During the summer, I enjoy being outside with my pups!

What is a good trick to make daily life easier? Life, for me, is easier if I am able to stick to my simple routine.

When FA gets you down, what do you think/do to feel better? When FA gets me down, I can always count on my husband to make me laugh!

What is one way living with FA has POSITIVELY affected your life? I think FA has made me a stronger person.

What is the best advice YOU could give to a person who has been newly diagnosed with FA? My advice to someone newly diagnosed is to live life.

"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? I live life one day at a time, I am not special!

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