Name: Natalie Nadine Denny
Age: 35 years old
Where do you call home? Eskasoni First Nation, Nova Scotia, Canada
Education (degree(s)): Bachelor of Science in Nursing. I worked as a community health nurse for nine years in my community. I am retired now as of two years.
What is your relationship status? Do you have children? I am married to my wonderful husband Leroy and we have a 16 year old daughter named Lenita.
How long have you known you are living with FA? (When and how were you diagnosed?) I was diagnosed with Friedreichs Ataxia when I was 18 years old. I specifically remember being in my high school gym class doing fitness testing. My younger sister Angie, was my gym partner in that class. Running...I barely kept up running with the rest of the class. I knew I used to be very fast which was something I used to be proud of. Then there was the balance test. This was where you stand on a block on 1 foot with eyes closed. I couldn't do it!! I immediately suspected that I had FA and told Angie but was afraid to tell the rest of my family. I didn't want my family, especially my parents to feel sad that another one of us has this devastating disease. After eventually telling my parents what I had suspected and that I want to be tested, I was relieved that they supported me. My mother suspected that I might have it also because I would bump into walls when walking down the hall to my bedroom. I didn't realize until then that I staggered and swayed. My parents waited for me to be ready to be diagnosed, after all, there is no treatment or cure.