Name: Colton Watson
Where do you call home? Littleton, Colorado
Education: 5th Grade
Who do you live with? I live with my parents, two older brothers, and dog Jaxon.
What's a typical day for you? I get ready for school, do my physical therapy exercises and stretches, go to school, come home and do homework, and then play video games or watch YouTube.
How long have you known you are living with FA? I went to the doctor in May and was officially diagnosed with a positive genetic test in July. I showed signs of balance issues for a couple years prior to that.
Are there any others with FA in your family? No
What do you like to do to stay active and what type of exercises work for you to stay strong? I run and swim. I use weights, do core exercises, pushups and squats.
Do you have any hobbies or special interests? I love history and learning and love Fortnite!
When FA gets you down, what do you think/do to feel better? I punch a pillow.
Tell us a little more about you. I would like to be a history professor when I grow up; I would like to backpack Canada; I like bouncing on my trampoline, love history and video games.
Interview with Colton's Parents
Your Names: Tammy Schaaf and Geoff Watson
Relation to FA patient: Mom and Dad
What quality or trait has been brought out the most in the family despite living with FA? We have always been a family who has compassion for others. But since Colton's diagnosis, our compassion has grown in ways we never could have imagined.
What did you find was the best way to discuss the diagnosis with him? Colton was recently diagnosed, so he has had a lot of questions. But we are committed to remaining open and honest with him. Even the doctors discuss everything with us, in front of him. As his parents, we feel it is important that he has as many resources available as possible, whenever he needs it throughout this journey.
What advice would you give to other FA patients and families newly diagnosed? We are newly diagnosed, but we would highly recommend getting involved with FARA and signing up with FAPG (FA Parents' Group email list). Both have been huge resources for us and a way to meet other FA patients and families. We are all in this together - you are not alone. Most importantly, take one step at a time. Deal with the now and don't try to predict the future.
How has he inspired your life? Colton's resilience inspires us, always putting a positive spin on FA. He wants everyone to know about this disease and he is determined to not let it change his dreams and goals in life. Colton reminds us that we all need to forever be living our dreams to the fullest, each and every day. Never give up.
How have you been encouraged for his future living life with FA? We are encouraged meeting others with FA and hearing about those who have been living full lives, graduating, going to college, having careers, getting married and having their own families. — It gives us hope!
What is one way FA has POSITIVELY affected your lives? FA makes us realize just how precious life is and our time together. Spending quality time as a FAmily has a whole new meaning for us.