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The Ataxian Screening - Lee's Summit, MO

Ataxian MO 1A feeling anyone with Friedreich’s Ataxia, or a family member of someone diagnosed, knows too well, is isolation--the feeling of not knowing what to do next, where to turn for help or support. Dawn and Eric Graczyk have two of six children, Marissa (12) and Josiah (6), who were recently diagnosed with FA. Determined to make a difference, the Graczyk family has been gathering information and helping to spread awareness since the diagnosis of their children.

Prior to the screening, the family was able to show Kyle Bryant around during his visit. This meant sampling some famous K.C. barbeque, farm life and a tour of Whiteman Air Force Base, just to name a few.

On September 21, 2017, the Graczyk’s hosted a screening of “The Ataxian” at B&B Theatres in Lee’s Summit. In one place, in the middle of the country, people gathered to raise funds, learn and be encouraged and inspired by the film. Whether they had seen the film or not, everyone was there to learn more and show support to those with Friedreich’s Ataxia. Before the showing, Dawn expressed her appreciation for the support and explained how much hope the film had given her and her family. 

Ataxian MOPrior to this screening, I had not been able to attend a viewing, but had heard nothing but great things about the film, so I was excited. Beyond knowing what it was about and others posting that they had laughed and cried, I didn’t know what to expect from it but was happy I wore waterproof mascara! I’ll just say, I cannot wait to be able to see it again. The raw emotion and stories told, took me back to what my family and I went through after my diagnosis. I fight crying in public, I have an “ugly cry face,” as my sister has lovingly pointed out. It’s true. So, I tried my best, and failed, but I tried! Like everyone else, I laughed, I cried and, most of all, I left feeling so hopeful about this track FARA and the FA community is on. One day, hopefully soon, this will be one of those films people watch and are so grateful no one has to hear, “you have Friedreich’s Ataxia,” come out of their doctor's mouth, without it being followed by, “we can fix this.”

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About the Author

The FARA Ambassador Program

The FARA Ambassador Program

The FARA Ambassadors are a united team of patient volunteers living with FA who are committed to supporting FARA in the search for a treatment and cure.
Together we seek to know more about FA, and FARA so we can be prepared to represent the community when the opportunity arises; speaking at events, to volunteers, potential donors, scientific groups, pharma partners, media interviews and other awareness and fundraising opportunities. We believe support is key to continued success toward our ultimate goal of treatment and a cure. Participants in the FARA Ambassador Program are passionate about building and upholding relationships within the FA community.
The FARA Ambassadors are positive, supportive, peer representatives for the FA community, actively raising awareness and funds for FARA. To learn more about the FARA Ambassador Program or to have a FARA Ambassador speak at your event, please contact:


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