Name: Richie Currier
Where do you call home? Winthrop Mass. A small town just a quick ride to Boston and next to Logan Airport.
Education: Bachelor’s degree from Salem State University.
Who do you live with? Happily married since 2005 with 3 daughters. Gabriela (15), Mia (14) and Audra (10).
What's a typical day for you? I wake up, get ready for work, eat breakfast, then hop online to start my day at work. Two days a week I see a personal trainer to stay healthy and strong.
How long have you known you are living with FA? Diagnosed in 1998. It was picked up by a doctor when I applied for a seasonal position at the post office. He recommended I contact a neurologist and that’s “when all the fun started.”
Are there others in your family with FA? No
Describe your transition from walking to walker/wheelchair. I began using a wheelchair in 2004 after an accident where I broke my ankle.
What do you like to do to stay active and what type of exercises work for you to stay strong? I work out with a personal trainer geared towards improving flexibility and strength. I also have a recumbent trike that I ride when the weather is good, and the road conditions are safe. When it’s not, I ride on my indoor trainer.
Do you have any hobbies or special interests? My hobbies include watching sports, listening to music, spending time with friends, going to as many New England sports teams’ home and away games that I can manage, and attending all my children’s sports events. Traveling and seeing different parts of the country and world specifically to Ireland, that is where my mother is from and all of her siblings and many cousins live there.
What is a good trick to make daily life easier? When people ask to help take them up on this. I was too proud for a long time to follow this advice myself but looking back, for the most part people are sincere.
When FA gets you down, what do you think/do to feel better? I am a positive person but having FA is hard but I surround myself with people that get me through these difficult moments with lots of love and support. Keeping my mind occupied by being an active participant in my children's lives and staying in touch with all my childhood friends helps. Focusing or thinking of things and times which brought happiness and joy to my life help lift my spirits.
What is one way living with FA has POSITIVELY affected your life? I have met some of the coolest and down to earth people who are also living with FA and their families. Friends that have turned into family.
What is a favorite motivational quote of yours? “Live life to the fullest, no one is promised tomorrow.”
What piece of advice that someone with FA has given you that encourages and inspires you? This was an easy one. My good friend Kyle Bryant told me years ago to keep pedaling and to always push yourself.
What is the best advice YOU could give to a person who has been newly diagnosed with FA? Stay positive and confident. There are tons of scientists and researchers actively trying to find a cure. Participate (if eligible) in every clinical trial that is feasible.
What is the first thing you want to do when a cure/treatment to FA is found? The one thing I want to do is a simple task for able bodied people. I want to take out the trash, take in the barrels after. Every day small chores interest me.
"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 I am not defined by my disability. Although everyday life is not easy, I push myself to do things that are hard for me, and to live as if I don’t have a disability.
Tell us a little more about you... I have worked full time for the Commonwealth of Massachusetts for over 18 years and counting! FA has been in my life for almost 25 years and within those years I also got married and have 3 children.