Hello, my name is Vladimir Ayriyan, I’m 26 years old and I was diagnosed with Friedreich’s Ataxia when I was nine years old. I was born in Armenia, my family and I moved to San Diego, California, when I was three years old.
Going through my school years with this disease was very difficult because your body keeps getting worse and constantly having to adjust due to the progression of the disease. I have been permanently wheelchair bound for eight years. I got my associates degree when I was 21, I wanted to further my education and pursue a bachelor’s degree but fatigue got the best of me.
Now it’s all about keeping my body in shape, so exercise and eating right is my priority. FARA has really changed my life by connecting the FA community, given me a greater purpose as an ambassador, and a greater understanding of the science behind FA because of all the work that they do.
I have hope for the future, and with a great support system from my family and friends, anything is possible.