Kyle WatermanName: Kyle Waterman

Age: 20

Where do you call home? Cedar Rapids, Iowa

Education: I attend the University of Northern Iowa. I plan to major in Statistics and to minor in Finance. My ultimate goal is to do statistics for sports. FA has made it impossible to play sports, so I want to be involved in any way.

What is your relationship status? Do you have children? Single with no kids.

What's a typical day for you? A typical day for me varies. This past summer, I was waking up at 5:30-6:00 during the week to get ready for work. I would get ready (i.e. shower, brush teeth, get dressed, etc.) and eat breakfast, and go to work around 7:30. When 4:30 rolled around, it would be time to go home. At home, I usually nap, exercise, eat dinner, and go back to bed around 10:00. At school, I would get ready at 7:00, go to class, come back and eat lunch, take a nap, and socialize/study/exercise and go to bed around midnight.

How long have you known you are living with FA? I was diagnosed in 2009. My fifth-grade teacher noticed my gross motor skills were not what they should be like, so she insisted that I get tested. For example, carrying liquids in science class was an obvious sign. There would never be as much liquid when I got back to my desk as when I received, due to most of it spilling from walking.

Are there any others with FA in your family? There is nobody in my family that has been diagnosed with FA.

Kyle Waterman 3Describe your transition from walking to walker/wheelchair. I was falling more and more throughout the years until my transition from walking to being in a wheelchair came drastically. I went from walking with no assistance before my spinal fusion in 2014 to needing heavy assistance and a wheelchair after.

What do you like to do to stay active and what type of exercises work for you to stay strong? I like to ride my trike and to walk on the treadmill to stay active. I also do mostly core exercises and stretch my legs to keep them strong.

Do you have any hobbies or special interests? Some hobbies I have been watching sports, listening to music, playing video games, spending time with my pets, and hanging out with friends.

What is a good trick to make daily life easier? To make daily life easier, I do a few things. Drink an Advocare Spark to boost my energy for a bit, think positively, and exercise to make tomorrow a little easier.

When FA gets you down, what do you think/do to feel better? Laughing always helps me get things off my mind. I laugh at everything so it isn't too hard to find a tweet/video to make me laugh.

What is one way living with FA has POSITIVELY affected your life? One way FA has positively affected my life is by putting incredible people in my life. Meeting others with FA is always fun. Everyone is so positive and I just have the time of my life hanging out with and getting to know them. Also, my friends at home are so supportive. They make life so much easier.

What is a favorite motivational quote of yours? "If it doesn't challenge you, it won't change you." FA poses a challenge every day, and without those, I wouldn't be who I am today.

Kyle Waterman 2What is a piece of advice that someone with FA has given you that encourages and inspires you? There isn't a single person who doesn't inspire me. Seeing all the accomplishments made by the FA community encourages and inspires me to never give up.

What is the best advice YOU could give to a person who has been newly diagnosed with FA? The best advice I could give would be to always be positive. It takes more energy to frown than to smile and we need all the energy we can save.

What is the first thing you want to do when a cure/treatment to FA is found? The first thing I would do is play golf. Golf is the last sport I played, and I can't even imagine how enjoyable it would be to play without the physical challenges of FA.

"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? It means that nothing will stop me from passing the roadblocks in my path. I can accomplish anything that I want, and FA can't even stop me. It might be harder and it might take me a little longer, but it will get done.

Tell us a little more about you..... I am an Oregon Duck die hard. I follow literally everything about the school. Football. Softball. You name it. If Oregon is on, I'm watching. Or reading about how great the university is. Go Ducks!

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