Jacob ThompsonName: Jacob Thompson

Age: 28

Where do you call home? Minneapolis, Minnesota

Education (degree(s): How will FA add to your future [career]?: B.S. in ESL education and M.A. in Ministry from Bethel Seminary - FA influences my career as a minister, author, speaker, and recording artist. It allows me to empathize with those who are suffering and motivates me to raise awareness and resources for FA and other rare diseases.

Who do you live with? I am married to my amazing, beautiful wife, Abigail Thompson. We have two boys: Titus - 2 years and Griffin - 8 months.

What's typical day for you? I work as the Pastor of Student Ministries at City Church in Minneapolis. I run programs to mentor the teens and coach basketball. Meanwhile I work on writing, speaking, and recording music and spoken word poetry. I try to stay active and I ride my Catrike 700 as much as possible. I love spending time with my wife and children, family, and friends.

How long have you known you are living with FA? I was diagnosed in June of 2018. When I was 11, my baseball coach told me I could play professionally someday. Over the years, my athletic ability slowly declined. Eventually, there was enough progression of FA that caused me to seek answers. For example, in college I suddenly couldn’t skate, but I learned to skate when I was 3 years old. Experiences like this led me to seek medical attention and eventually be diagnosed with FA.

Are there others in your family with FA? Nope

Describe an adaptation and/or transition you have had to take due to living with FA. I started walking with a cane in the fall of 2019. I would occasionally have people assume that I was drunk because I was off balance. I use a cane both to help others see that I have a real physical issue rather than a drinking problem, and to help myself balance, especially when it is dark or slippery (ice in Minnesota winters).

Jacob Thompson What do you like to do to stay active and what type of exercises work for you to stay strong? Physical therapy, riding my Catrike, weight lifting.

What is a good trick to make daily life easier? Perspective. I try to make the most of what I can do rather than focus on what I can’t do.

When FA gets you down, what do you think/do to feel better? Same answer as the one before.

What is one way living with FA has POSITIVELY affected your life? Living with FA has increased my sense of purpose, empathy, and urgency in life. It has led me into being a speaker, author, and award-winning recording artist. It has given me an opportunity to inspire those in my path by how I respond to difficult circumstances.

What is a favorite motivational quote of yours? By me: your trials aren’t meant to break you; they’re meant to make you.

What is the best advice YOU could give to a person who has been newly diagnosed with FA? Make the most of what you can do and don’t worry about what others are going to think about you. Keep on fighting.

What is the first thing you want to do when a cure/treatment to FA is found? Get back into playing sports with my friends and eventually with my sons.

Tell us a little more about you... My socials: IG and FB @ten20words My website: ten20words.com & Book ten20words.com/fdtd

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