LauraBishop1Name: Laura Bishop

Age: 23 years old

Where do you call home? Bournemouth, England

Education (degree(s): I have a diploma in child psychology and I also have a blog website involving FA.

What is your relationship status? Who do you live with? I'm in a relationship. I live with my mum.

How long have you known you are living with FA? (When and how were you diagnosed?): I was diagnosed at age 15, my diagnoses went on since I was 13 because the specialists believed my walking etc was due to scoliosis.

Are there any others with FA in your family? No. My family and I had never even heard of it before. 

Describe your transition from walking to walker/wheelchair. I was really against using a wheelchair at first and the first time I used it out in public I was scared and embarrassed but after that first time I soon got over it. I think I'm pretty adaptive and resilient now.

What do you like to do to stay active and what type of exercises work for you to stay strong? I have a gym membership but haven't actually attended in a while. I do floor exercises, just simple ones to tone and strengthen my muscles. I also use a manual wheelchair which is great for my arms.

What is a good trick to make daily life easier? I have really close, supportive friends and family, they also make daily life easier!

When FA gets you down, what do you think/do to feel better? I try not to think about it too often and I'm quite accepting. With FA there is really nothing you can do but live with it, so I just do. :)

LauraBishop2What is one way living with FA has POSITIVELY affected your life? It has made me a better person I think. More thoughtful, empathetic, understanding and less judgmental.

What is a favorite motivational quote of yours? "It’s like standing on the edge of an abyss, either look down and get sucked into it, or look up and rise above it."

What is piece of advice that someone with FA has given you that encourages and inspires you? I was once told by someone older with FA that "it's okay to grieve for things that FA takes away from you" this has always stuck with me and it spoke volumes.

What is the best advice YOU could give to a person who has been newly diagnosed with FA? Keep yourself strong physically and mentally. You can handle anything.

What is the first thing you want to do when a cure/treatment to FA is found? If a cure is found for FA the first thing I'd do is go for a walk alone.

"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 doesn't rule my life. I make my decisions and just adapt to FA, it doesn't control me.

Tell us a little more about you…I have recently taken place in a documentary about me living with FA and I have a website/blog on my life.

We are STRONGER TOGETHER! New Meet the Community interviews, Mondays.