Greetings from the great state of Montana. My name is Justin Bolinger, I am 40 years old and have Friedreich's Ataxia. My story begins in 1997 which was my first year of college. This is the year that I began to notice that my coordination was off. I struggled to run. This had never been an issue growing up. Throughout my school years, I was on the football and wrestling teams and an active member of the FFA. My summers involved working on the Farm and stacking hay. I was extremely strong. But in 1997 I was struggling to do things that came so easy before. In March of 2002, I was diagnosed with Friedreich's Ataxia. I was told there were no treatments and that I would be fully wheelchair bound in ten years or less.
In 2001 I was married, my wife and I now have 3 kids. My sister was just recently diagnosed with FA. Thanks to my family I have never learned the word "can't". Although life now is more difficult and I have to find ways to do things that once were so easy. I do use a wheelchair now but can still walk with my walker. When it is nice outside I like to work in my shop and build things with the assistance of my kids. In the summer months, I run a lawn mowing business with my kids. Although I now run a riding mower and my kids run the push mower and weed eaters. I live with the belief that there is nothing I can't figure out a way to accomplish it.