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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 treatments and a cure.

The Ambassadors are a service team within the FARA organization. Participants in the FARA Ambassador Program are passionate about building and upholding relationships within the FA community. Together we seek to know more about the research and pharmaceutical pipelines being developed through FARA in order to be better prepared to represent the FA community when opportunities arise to educate the medical community and potential donors. When meeting with scientific groups, pharma partners, and the FDA, our purpose is to promote awareness of the patient perspective of living with FA. We believe our dedicated support is key to continued success toward our ultimate goal of treatments and a cure.

FARA Ambassador Program Mission Statement:

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:

Keith O’Brien

Keith OBrienHey everyone! I'm Keith, and I live on the Jersey Shore. I was diagnosed at about 12 years old alongside my older brother, who was a High School Junior. I was active in the community at the beginning, but life got in the way for a few years. Now I'm back and more excited than ever to be a part of it!

I look forward to all of the unique people, I'll be able to meet and befriend through my ambassadorship. You'll usually find me making music or fishing, and you'll always be welcome to join me at either!

Andy Sorter

AndyI am a sales associate at Sportsmans Warehouse in Casper, Wyoming. I love being outside at all times, except for when it's cold and windy. I do hunt, fish, and camp. I was diagnosed with FA at 8. I am an Eagle Scout (the highest rank in Boy Scouts you can achieve).

Morgan Talevich

Morgan THey guys! My name is Morgan Talevich and I am from Louisiana. I am 30 years old and I was diagnosed with FA when I was only 6. Since then I have had many ups and downs but I choose to focus more on the ups. I have an amazing, loving husband and 2 beautiful children. Aaannddd I received these wonderful gifts long after I was diagnosed.

Kyle Waterman

Kyle WatermanHi! My name is Kyle Waterman and I'm 21 years old. I live in Cedar Rapids, IA and I'm currently in college at the University of Northern Iowa studying Statistics and Coaching. When I was 11, I was diagnosed with Friedreich's ataxia (FA). I did not really know what it was until I looked it up. I couldn't even spell it either! I did not join the FA Community until I was 17. My first event that I went to was incredible. I try to attend events throughout the year because they are fun, and being with people that are going through similar things is awesome!

Kelly Barendt

Kelly BHi everyone, my name is Kelly Barendt. I'm 26 years old and just moved to my own apartment in Columbus, Ohio. I was diagnosed with FA at 18, just weeks before high school graduation. I currently do remote freelance work, and the rest of my time is filled with taking care of my health, both physically and mentally. I try to work out every day (key word is try...). I love seeing a personal trainer, practicing Pilates, and going for walks in the sun. I'm fully dependent on a rollator and sometimes use a wheelchair for long distances.

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