Living with rare disorder helped steer her life’s work

Shandra Trantham is a 21-year-old, first-year graduate student in the UF Genetics and Genomics Graduate Program hoping to find a cure for Friedreich’s ataxia, or FA, a rare neuromuscular disorder. But her interest in the disease started long ago.

When she was about 9 years old, Trantham began to have poor coordination and balance, which is one of the first signs that appear in children who have FA. She was diagnosed with the disorder when she was 12 years old. But instead of allowing the disease to restrict her, Trantham chose another course of action.

She decided to make FA research her life’s work.

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