I was 12 years old when I played basketball for my school. That is when I first started getting chest pains that kept me off of the court a lot that season and I never played again. I was misdiagnosed with exercise-induced asthma. It wasn't until 5 years later that I was correctly diagnosed with hypertrophic cardiomyopathy. When I was 15 I got mono, which kept me down for weeks. This was the unfortunate beginning of my symptoms, however, I did make it through high school graduation in high heels (barely)!
Fast forward to age 24, when I was correctly diagnosed with FA at The Ohio State University. This is when I got my first walker, which has since upgraded to a manual wheelchair I grew up with my face constantly buried in a book. I never went anywhere without one; school, basketball practice, even a trip to the mall meant I had a book in my purse. After high school, I wanted to move to California and go to UCLA. Naturally, I wanted to excel in creative writing and become an English Lit teacher. Since I didn't know what was wrong with me, I decided to stay home and went to a local technical college where I studied Business Management.
I actively volunteer in my community as much as I can. My mom always called me her "save the whales" baby. It is that passion for helping people and animals that motivated me to start an annual fundraiser for FARA revolving around my favorite holiday, Halloween. Costume for a Cure has been a huge success - raising around $15,000 for FA research in our two years (so far).
One of my favorite quotes is, "Fall down seven times, stand up eight."