Name: Dr. Georg Herdt
Where do you call home? Oxford, UK
Education/Career: PhD in Architecture
Who do you live with? I am married and have two lovely young children.
What’s a typical day for you? Get up super early, drink the first of many espresso. Breakfast with kids and do the nursery run. Depending on my availability I try to train as much as possible. After supper with the kids, my wife and I calm down and go to bed early to start getting ready for the next morning.
How long have you known you are living with FA? I was diagnosed in 2015.
Are there any others with FA in your family? Before my diagnosis, no one in my family even heard of this condition.
Describe your transition from walking to walker/wheelchair. I am still walking independently, but it had become challenging before I started exercising again. At the moment, I use a cane for walking but am not depending on it.
What do you like to do to stay active and what type of exercises work for you to stay strong? In my childhood I did a lot of sport, rowing to be precise. I got a hunch that excessive exercise has something to do with my independence now and all I need to do is to replicate the amount of sport I did as a kid. Even if that means 3-6 hours of rowing, weight lifting or other forms of training a day.
Do you have any hobbies or special interests? My family fulfills my life.
What is a good trick to make daily life easier? Do what you have got to do. Accept it, it is never easy.
When FA gets you down, what do you think/do to feel better? I take a deep breath and drink an espresso.
What is one way living with FA has POSITIVELY affected your life? I avoid stressful situations. Only my children are more important than health.
What is the best advice YOU could give a person who has been newly diagnosed with FA? If sport enables you to live an independent life, then find a career that includes it. Never stop rowing.
What is the first thing you want to do when a cure/treatment to FA is found? I don’t want to wait until a cure is found but when the day comes I want to play with my children growing up and walk them down the aisle (if they choose to).
"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? FA has me, and I have FA. We are like yin and yang, none can do without the other. We have to find a way to make life work together for as long as possible.
Photography by Thomas Asteriades. thomasasteriadesphotography.co.uk